In 2009, though the number of drivers on Virginia roads increased by half a percent over 2008, the number of traffic crashes, injuries, and fatalities were all down.

The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles is reporting that in 2009, there were 116,744 traffic accidents. This is a decrease of a whopping 13.7% from 2008. In addition, traffic injuries were down nearly 9%, with only 62,976 reported. Finally, traffic fatalities were down almost 8%, with 756 traffic deaths.

Of those accidents, more than 10% occurred in Fairfax County, which had 14,233 accidents, 37 fatalities, and 7,590 injuries.

The most frequent cause of accidents in Virginia is following too closely, which often leads to rear-end collissions. The second leading cause is failure to yield the right of way. Though much is made of texting while driving and talking on the cell phone while driving, “driver distraction” accounted for only about 3% of all the motor vehicle accidents in Virginia.

Traffic accidents do not rank in the top ten leading causes of death in Virginia. However, on the national scale, motor vehicle accidents are the 8th leading killer, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.

The rest of the study can be found here.

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