VA Motorcycle Deaths in the Rise

The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles recently released 2017 crash data showing that motorcycle fatalities are on the rise in the state. As of 2017, 117 motorcyclists died on Virginia roads, DMV date revealed. This compared to 72 in 2016, which is an increase of nearly 50%. The previous high was back in 2011 when there were 90 fatalities. 

According to the state’s transportation secretary, the DMV and VDOT are working to reduce motorcycle traffic deaths in Virginia. The state is urging all drivers to give their driving their strict attention and to never be distracted by a cell phone or anything else.

Also, there are fewer registered motorcycles in the state as of 2017, with 211,620, about 2,000 less than the year before.

There were six deaths on motorcycles reported for New Port News, Virginia Beach and Fairfax County. There also were two motorcycle deaths for the year in Henrico County.

Our View

As of 2016, 37,461 people died in vehicle crashes across the country, which was the largest tally since 2007. Interestingly, there was a decline in the number of distracted driving deaths, with 2% fewer such fatalities compared to 2016. Deaths that were linked to other dangerous behaviors were on the rise though, such as drunk driving, failing to yield and speeding.

However, national data for 2016 did show there were more motorcycle deaths across the country with an increase of 5%. Virginia motorcyclists who spoke to the press in Richmond a few months ago said they are definitely seeing more distracted driving due to cell phones.

Some said that many drivers are being seen with their eyes not on the road – either on the dashboard or on their phone. The problem with this is that car drivers may not easily see the smaller profile of a motorcyclist out of the corner of their vision. This can cause serious and deadly crashes.

There were a total of 1453 texting while driving convictions in the state in 2017, with 208 people killed by distracted driving in Virginia that year.

Our Virginia Beach car and motorcycle accident attorneys wish to remind all drivers to be on close look out for motorcyclists. It is your responsibility to use caution when driving and to never be distracted by a cell phone or anything else. Car accidents that cause injuries and are caused by the other party can result in a large personal injury lawsuit and a significant legal settlement, in addition to possible criminal penalties. So it is never worth it to drive distracted in this state or anywhere else.