What Virginia counties and cities have the most car crashes?

The decisions that you make on the road influence your safety as you drive. You know you need to maintain your vehicle in optimal driving condition and also pay attention to your surroundings while driving. You know to keep your phone out of your hands and to avoid intoxicants before getting behind the wheel.

The route you take is also highly important for your overall safety on the road. When looking at the annual report released by the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles for 2020, the most recent year with an extensive crash breakdown available, certain trends become obvious when it comes to the location of car crashes that occur.

There are certain municipalities and counties that see a significantly higher number of crashes than other parts of the state. What locations throughout the state are the most dangerous for drivers?

The most dangerous counties

Some counties have as few as a few dozen car crashes annually. Others see thousands of collisions. In 2020, Fairfax County was the most dangerous in the state. It saw 8,735 collisions, 37 of which proved deadly. There were 3733 people injured in those collisions.

The second most dangerous county was Henrico County, which was home to 4,783 crashes, 29 deaths and 2,188 injuries. The third most dangerous county was Chesterfield County, with 4,467 wrecks,  34 human fatalities and over 1,800 people injured.

Prince William County,  Loudoun County, Spotsylvania County and Albemarle County all saw significantly elevated rates of collisions as well.

The most dangerous cities

As you can probably guess, the cities with the highest populations were among those with the most crashes, and there is significant overlap with the most dangerous counties in the state. Virginia Beach, Richmond, Norfolk, Hampton, Newport News, Roanoke, Suffolk and Chesapeake were among the cities that saw the most overall crashes, as well as the highest rates of fatal crashes and injuries after collisions.

Population density, poor urban design and the habits of inhabitants all contribute to the rate at which collisions occur in different municipalities around the state. Tracking crash trends in Virginia could help you avoid a motor vehicle collision or at least reduce your risk of causing a serious wreck.

3 driving rules that are different for commercial trucks

Semitrucks are a constant threat to those in smaller vehicles. All it takes is a momentary lapse in judgment for a truck driver to cause a crash that could demolish a vehicle or kill several people.

Commercial drivers need to secure a commercial driver’s license (CDL), and they must abide by the much stricter rules that apply to such vehicles. As someone who will undoubtedly encounter numerous commercial trucks on the road every week, you may potentially improve your own safety by learning about the different rules that apply to semi-trucks.

You will also have an easier time determining when you may have grounds for an insurance claim or a civil lawsuit if you understand the different rules for commercial trucks.

They are subject to a federal no-texting rule

Not every state in the country has a ban on texting while driving. Some states only have rules that apply to teen drivers, for example. Virginia treats texting like a primary offense, but the same is true in any state for those in semitrucks.

Commercial drivers have to abide by the federal no-text rule that prohibits them from entering data manually into a phone, including dialing a mobile device, while in control of a commercial truck.

They should follow the Hours of Service rules

Although it is likely unsafe to continue driving for many hours on end, nothing legally prevents you from doing so when in control of a personal passenger vehicle. However, the rules are much more strict for those driving commercial vehicles.

Depending on whether the driver has passengers or products in their vehicle, there are different rules limiting how long they can drive without a break and how many hours they can drive on a specific day. Truckers at the wheel for too long may suffer the ill effects of fatigue on their driving abilities, which is why Hours of Service rules are so important for public safety.

They have to maintain a lower BAC

Many commercial trucking companies have very strict internal policies regarding alcohol use. Often, they insist that someone has waited several hours after their last drink before reporting to pick up a load.

Even if the company that employs a driver does not impose such a strict policy, commercial drivers still have to adhere to a much lower limit for their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) than the average driver. Although most drivers only have to worry about a drunk driving arrest when their BAC is 0.08% or higher, commercial drivers face arrest, prosecution and the loss of their license for a BAC of just 0.04% or higher.

Truck drivers who violate these and other safety-critical rules could potentially cause serious crashes. Asking for compensation after a commercial trucking crash may require an insurance claim or sometimes a civil lawsuit.


Why do people talk to attorneys after Virginia crashes?

If you are recovering from a car crash, there are a lot of people you will likely need to talk to: doctors, police, insurance company agents and more. It can be overwhelming, but one other person you may want to talk to is an attorney.

To contest liability

In Virginia, pure contributory negligence rules bar you from receiving any compensation in a personal injury claim if the courts examine the case and find that you were even 1% liable for a crash.

As such, it can be crucial to argue against any claims that you were responsible for the accident. You may need to work with an attorney to gather:

  • Witness statements
  • Cellphone records
  • Video recordings from dash cams and surveillance cameras
  • Findings from an accident reconstructionist

This information can prove other parties were to blame or contradict accusations that you were at fault.

To get fair compensation

Insurance companies are businesses, and their priority is to make money. Therefore, do not expect them to offer you the total amount you may deserve.

It is not unusual for insurance companies to offer a settlement fairly quickly. While it can be tempting to accept these offers, the fact is doing so could leave money on the table.

For instance, an insurance settlement may not fully cover:

  • Long-term health care needs
  • Property damage
  • Emotional distress
  • Lifestyle changes
  • Lost wages

When you file a personal injury claim, though, all these damages come into the picture. In some cases, the courts also award punitive damages when there is evidence of willful or egregious misconduct. 

To avoid costly mistakes

Individuals may not have much or any experience navigating the legal system. As such, they can make certain missteps like waiting too long to file a claim, filing in the wrong jurisdiction or overlooking various legal requirements.

Life after a devastating car crash can be stressful and chaotic. But just as talking to a doctor can help you recover physically, talking to an attorney can help you recover financially.

Summertime driving: Not always fun in the sun

With the formal first day of summer approaching, drivers throughout the nation are looking to take to the open road to reunite with family, take a vacation, or attend a special event. However, with increased traffic comes the chance of more accidents, earning June, July, and August the distinction of being “The 100 Deadliest Days For Drivers.”

Motor vehicle collisions take many forms and include:

Road construction

Construction season reaches its peak in the summer months when the weather is more conducive to finishing projects and repairing road damage caused by the cold that comes with winter. Drivers experience construction zones that feature lane closures, changing traffic routes, and detours. Roads and highways are narrowed, and temporary signage also dots the streets. Distracted or drunk drivers who do not account for the difficulties could find themselves in serious, if not deadly, accidents.

Tire blowouts

Warm weather can wreak havoc on tires as the heat – sometimes up to 100 degrees – from driving causes them to expand. Even worse, older, worn, or damaged tires that experience extra stress can result in tread separation that could lead to blowouts. Suddenly, drivers lose control, resulting in serious accidents.

Distracted driving

Summertime brings a spike in distracted driving accidents. Teenagers on summer break are prone to look at their phones instead of the road ahead. Teens packed into cars are more focused on talking, eating, drinking, and even grooming than nearby vehicles or obstructions. Those visiting from another city or state are also distracted by road signs and navigational apps on their cell phones.

Summer is a time for rest and relaxation. The last thing vacationers want is to find themselves involved in a motor vehicle accident caused by negligent acts.

Virginia congressman wants to make fentanyl a Schedule I drug

The addiction and overdose crisis caused by fentanyl shows no signs of slowing down in Virginia or the rest of the country. In response, lawmakers are proposing increasingly strict laws against the possession and sale of this powerful opioid.

In the latest example, a Virginia congressman is working to make fentanyl a Schedule I drug under federal law. The federal criminal code divides controlled substances (except for marijuana) into five groups, or “schedules,” based on whether the substance has an accepted medical use and its potential for abuse or addiction. The higher schedule a drug is listed as, the lower amount someone has to be caught with to be charged with drug trafficking under federal law.

Move to put fentanyl with the most potent drugs

Fentanyl is currently included in Schedule I, the highest category. But that is only a temporary scheduling order that is set to expire on Feb. 19. Then fentanyl would move back to Schedule IV. Rep. Morgan Griffith, along with Rep. Bob Latta of Ohio, have introduced a bill to make the scheduling change permanent. Griffith said that increasing the number of Virginians and others who would face felony drug charges would reduce overdose deaths and “end the tragedy of addiction.”

If Griffith is successful, people in Bedford caught with a small amount of fentanyl without a prescription could potentially face federal trafficking charges. If convicted, they would be sentenced to between five and 40 years for a first offense.

Take trafficking charges seriously

This is an example of how serious drug charges are. Even if you are charged with possession with intent to distribute at the state level, you could still be facing a lengthy prison sentence. It is critical that you confront the charges with a strategy that best fits the circumstances and your personal needs.