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Virginia saw more deadly crashes with speed-related fatalities reaching a 10-year high in 2020

Virginia Highway Safety Team monitoring holiday weekend trends

There will be a lot of travelers out and about this holiday weekend.
There will be a lot of travelers out and about this holiday weekend.

RICHMOND, Va. – This holiday weekend, the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles is reminding Virginians to be safe.

The department’s final crash numbers are now available for analysis in the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles’ state-of-the-art automated Traffic Records Electronic Data System (TREDS), the Commonwealth’s central repository for crash data and related information.

In 2020, there was a significant decline in traffic volume because of the COVID-19 pandemic; however, while serious injuries declined by 5% last year, the number of overall crash fatalities in the Commonwealth increased by 2%, with 847 fatalities reported, compared to 827 in 2019.

Speed-related fatalities increased to the highest number in at least 10 years with 406 fatalities reported, a 16% jump over 2019 fatalities. The number of people who weren’t wearing their seat belts killed as a result of crashes also increased in 2020, with 343 fatalities reported compared to 304 in 2019.

“We have a shared responsibility when we’re on the roadway to ensure everyone on that roadway gets home safely,” said the DMV’s Director of Highway Safety Office John Saunders.

The state will use TREDS to keep a record of traffic trouble spots and causes to help keep you safe. It also determines where they put resources.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gives Virginia federal grant money each year that the state send to localities to address these trouble traffic areas.

“Our transportation agencies are committed to working diligently to reverse these trends so everyone arrives home safely,” said Secretary of Transportation Shannon Valentine.


About the Author:

McKinley Strother joined the WSLS 10 News team in June 2020. He anchors 10 News at 6 and 11 on Saturdays and Sundays and you'll also catch him reporting during the week.