Worst Crashes in Recent Virginia History: Top 5 List
Virginia ranks 40th in the country for deadliest roads. That might not seem like a high rank on the danger spectrum, but we’ve compiled a list of collisions to say otherwise. Read on for our top 5 worst accidents in Virginia’s recent history.
#5 March 31, 2013 – Carroll County
Dense fog encroached on mountainous Interstate 77, limiting drivers’ visibility to no more than 100 feet. Conditions did not impede drivers, and few heeded the warnings to slow their speed. At 70mph, it was impossible to brake in time before colliding when the next car appeared suddenly out of the fog ahead. A magnificent domino of 95 vehicles backed traffic up for 8 miles. From the lineup sprouted several fires and 17 crashes within a mile of Fancy Gap Mountain. Ninety-five injuries, 95 vehicles, and three deaths later, this accident ranks in our top 5 worst.
#4 February 22, 2000 – Stafford
Imagine everyone’s surprise with a sudden drop in temperature and an unprecedented siege of a snowstorm on I-95 around Stafford, VA. For several days the weather was uncommonly mild for late winter. The onset of whiteout conditions landed a whopping 117 cars in an interstate highway pileup, resulting in 1 death and 31 more injured.
#3 December 23, 2019 – I-64 in York County
The elements were again against them as drivers took to I-64 in foggy and icy conditions. Just before 8 am, 69 cars piled up on I-64 in York County near Williamsburg. Fifty-one people were treated or hospitalized, with 2 in critical condition and 11 severe but non-fatal injuries, but thankfully no fatalities overshadowed the Christmas spirit on this day. The greatest tragedy of this accident was the sacrifice of several hours it took to clear the roadways, straining the deadline for holiday shoppers headed to the Williamsburg Outlets!
#2 Thanksgiving 2020 – Richmond
At 7:54 pm on Thanksgiving, a pick-up truck ran a red light at the intersection of Brookland Park and Chamberlayne, crashing into two other vehicles, including the driver of an SUV who died at the scene. Another died in hospital later. While not the grandest number of cars or casualties, we included this crash for its tragic holiday circumstances.
#1 Christmas 2016 – Virginia’s highways
Too many families across the state spent a sorry Christmas in 2016, with ten fatal crashes in Virginia’s Albemarle, Alleghany, Buchanan, Culpeper, Fauquier, Louisa, Prince William, and Wise counties, as well as the cities of Chesapeake and Suffolk. While not a single most deadly crash, this date hosted several sad accidents spread across Virginia’s highways. Some pedestrians and some unbuckled, we can learn from these unfortunate incidents the importance of safer attentive driving.
Common Causes of Car Crashes in Virginia
As you can judge from our worst 5 Virginia crashes, poor weather conditions were often the culprit. DMV Crash Stats and the Department of Transportation Records might otherwise prove other more common causes of accidents to be at play. Stats show dramatic increases in accidents caused by speeding, drunk driving, and distracted driving. We’re not just talking about Uber or Lyft drivers with poor driving records.
As we enter the distracted driving month, let’s not forget the dangers also posed by other accident causes, like drowsy driving, tailgating, failing to yield, and other symptoms of dangerous or irresponsible driving behaviors.
Now that we’re learning to live with COVID and getting back outside, as we break into summer, pay extra attention at crosswalks along Tidewater Drive to keep you, your car, and other drivers and pedestrians safe. It doesn’t help that the 18th-19th century web of Norfolk’s streets has maze-like intersections. Certain crossings, like Colley and 25th, are noteworthy for higher accident ratings. Keeping your wits about you is hard enough without the distractions of your kid in the backseat or the GPS giving you wayward navigation.
3 Tips On Safe Driving Habits To Avoid Making The List Of Worst Crashes In Virginia
1. Heed your speed.
Obey the speed limit. During the height of the pandemic, studies found that the fatality rate spiked because people were driving more recklessly. While the reduced number of cars may open up the roadway, don’t be tempted by the invitation to race down Mercury Boulevard. A pedestrian, a deer, or a vehicle pulling out could surprise you.
2. Put away distractions.
Whatever it is can wait. And if distractions while you’re driving, can’t stay, pull over to a safe stop to attend to it before driving again.
3. Aware is care.
Encourage your loved ones to be aware. We often hear we are not the greatest danger, but other drivers are. Please communicate with your friends and family to be mindful of their surroundings. This is a good life habit, anyway!
Car Accident Lawyers Can Help You
These 5 worst Virginia car accidents are swift reminders of the degree to which road danger can alter our lives. If a driver’s negligence caused you to get in an accident, help is available at Rutter Mills. You can learn more about how a driving accident lawyer can help you with a free case evaluation.