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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 with the next car looming 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 a total of 17 crashes within a mile of Fancy Gap Mountain. 95 injuries, 95 vehicles and 3 deaths later, this accident ranks in our top 5 worst. 

#4  February 22, 2000 – Stafford

For several days the weather was uncommonly mild for late winter. Imagine everyone’s surprise with a sudden drop in temperature and an unprecedented siege of a snowstorm on I-95 around Stafford, VA. The onset of whiteout conditions landed a whopping 117 cars in an interstate highway pileup, resulting in 1 death and 31 more injured.

#3 Dec 23, 2019 – I-64 in York County

The elements were once again against them as drivers took to I-64 in foggy and icy conditions. Just before 8am, 69 cars piled up on I-64 in York County near Williamsburg. 51 people were treated or hospitalized with 2 in critical condition and 11 serious 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, surely 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 2 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

While not a single most deadly crash, this date hosted a number of sad accidents spread across Virginia’s highways. Too many families across the state spent a sorry Christmas in 2016 with 10 fatal crashes occurring in Albemarle, Alleghany, Buchanan, Culpeper, Fauquier, Louisa, Prince William and Wise counties, as well as the cities of Chesapeake and Suffolk. 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

Recent Virginia History's 5 Worst Accidents
Attentive driving is the best preventative measure against dangerous road accidents.

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. We’re not just talking about Uber or Lyft drivers with poor driving records. Stats show dramatic increases of accidents caused by speeding, drunk driving, and distracted driving.

As we enter 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.

It doesn’t help that the 18th-19th century web of Norfolk’s streets have maze-like intersections. You’ll notice certain crossings, like Colley and 25th, are noteworthy for higher crash ratings. Keeping your wits about you is hard enough without distractions of your kid in the backseat or the GPS giving you wayward navigation. Now that we’re learning to live with COVID and getting back outside, as we break into summer, pay extra attention at crossings along Tidewater Drive to keep you, your car and other drivers and pedestrians safe.

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 car pulling out could surprise you.

2. Put away distractions.

Whatever it is can wait. And if distractions while you’re driving can’t wait, 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. Communicate with your friends and family to be aware of their surroundings at all times. 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. With a free case evaluation, you can learn more about how a lawyer can help you.