Five Top Causes of Car Accidents in Virginia

Five Top Causes of Car Accidents in Virginia

Five Top Causes of Car Accidents in Virginia

By Jan Hoen

The state Department of Motor Vehicles recently published its 2017 Virginia Traffic Crash Facts, revealing some of the leading causes of car accidents. There are several factors that top the list every year, but other common auto collision scenarios may surprise you. While you can avoid the risky, dangerous driving behaviors that tend to cause motor vehicle crashes, there are still motorists on the road who are careless and put you at risk of injury. Familiarizing yourself with these leading causes of car accidents in Virginia may be useful but, if you are hurt, discuss your claim with a knowledgeable Hampton auto accidents lawyer.


Drivers who speed have less time to react to external factors and the actions of others on the road. It can be tough to avoid a crash, whether they are exceeding the posted limit or simply traveling too fast for conditions. Even worse, victims often suffer catastrophic injuries because of the stronger impact at excessively high speeds.

Alcohol and Controlled Substances

Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol may be illegal in Virginia, but laws do not always deter this type of conduct. These substances impair physical response, cognitive awareness, focus, and reaction time. Plus, the euphoric effects may inspire bad judgment and risky traffic maneuvers.


Distracted driving has recently emerged as one of the leading causes of car accidents in Virginia, as motorists do not see the harm in sending off a quick text, checking social media, or snapping a photo with their cell phones. However, smartphones are just one source of distraction. Other forms of distracted driving include:

  • Eating or drinking;
  • Operating a GPS or radio;
  • Grooming and applying cosmetics; and,
  • Many other activities that take the driver’s attention away from operating the vehicle safely.


Falling asleep behind the wheel is inherently dangerous, but even drowsy driving affects a motorist’s physical and mental capabilities. Fatigued drivers have problems focusing on the road and their reaction time when faced with a traffic threat is greatly diminished. Tired drivers are also less likely to make responsible decisions because of their clouded judgment. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that fatigue is a factor in around 72,000 crashes and 44,000 deaths annually. However, irregularities in reporting drowsy driving indicate that the numbers could be much higher.


Driving is a skill that a person can improve with practice and exposure to unexpected conditions. Motorists who have not had as much time behind the wheel may not identify accident-related factors as quickly as other drivers, and they have not yet developed good driving habits. Lack of experience tops the list of causes in accidents involving teens.

Request a Free Consultation with a Hampton Car Accident Attorney

If you were hurt in a motor vehicle collision, the impact can be life-changing. Steep medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and emotional distress are just a few of the unfortunate consequences. Virginia law does allow you to recover for your losses, Mr. Hoen can assist you with the complicated claims process. Please contact Hampton Injury Law at 757.838.1136 or go online to schedule a free consultation.

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