Spring is believed to be the season of more crashes. During 2016, 128,525 vehicle crashes occurred. They caused 67,292 injuries and 761 fatalities, according to preliminary data.* It has been widely believed that the number of crashes and fatalities increases sharply during the spring and summer months. The increase is often attributed to the number of teen drivers on the roads, the presence of more motorcycles on our highways, and the general increase in traffic due to summer travel. But what does the data indicate?
Although based upon preliminary data, the following chart shows crash data by month of 2016. The report indicates that more crashes occur after March. The number of crashes does not fall off, however, with the end of summer. We should expect, certainly, that the number of crashes in a given month is affected by holiday travel and inclement weather.
All Crashes, Virginia, 2016, by month:*
Other analyses of the data indicate that the number of young driver crashes also increases with the arrival of spring. Yet the statistics for young drivers (Aged 15-20) follow the same pattern as the total number of crashes each month.
Young driver (15-20), crashes, 2016, by month**
The number of motorcycle-involved crashes more closely follows the expected pattern. The number of crashes and the number of fatalities and injuries increase during the warmer seasons.
2016, motorcycle-involved, by month***
The arrival of spring did bring something of an increase in the number of crashes in 2016. The increase continued, however, through the end of the year. Rather than trying to attribute the increasing number of crashes to any single factor, we would do well to recall that crashes often occur when people are tired, distracted, rushed, or because they suddenly find themselves in situations to which they cannot respond in time to avoid a crash.
Perhaps the most important message for all who share Virginia highways is that everyone should drive defensively, put away cell phones, avoid alcohol or drug impairment, and remain alert and focused when behind the wheel. A single fatality on our highways is one too many.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a traffic crash at any time through no fault of your own, call the experienced and trusted attorneys of Altizer Law, P.C. When we represent you, our entire focus is on you and your rights.