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How bad is the drunk driving problem in the United States?

Many Americans know someone who was injured or killed in a drunk driving accident. Maybe it was you, or a loved one, or a family friend who got hurt. You might also know someone who was arrested and charged with a DUI. The fact is, drunk driving is a serious problem that persists in our country and there doesn't seem to be an end to it.

Statistics published by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) highlight the dangers and consequences associated with the decision to drive while intoxicated. Here is what the CDC's latest statistics say:

  • 10,265 victims were killed in drunk driving collisions in the United States in 2015. This figure accounts for a third of all traffic fatalities in our country.
  • 1,132 children between the ages of 0 and 14 died in car accidents in 2015. Sixteen percent of these deaths were caused by drunk driving.
  • 1.1 million drivers were arrested on drunk or drugged driving charges in 2015. However, this is only 1 percent of the estimated self-reported incidents of drunk driving that happen annually.
  • 16 percent of vehicle crashes are caused by drugs.
  • 13 percent of nighttime and weekend drivers have evidence of marijuana use coursing through their blood, and marijuana users have, statistically, a 25 percent higher chance of getting into a motor vehicle accident.

Motorcycle accident leaves 2 injured in Rotterdam

On a recent Friday morning, a motorcyclist in Rotterdam attempted to escape a traffic stop. However, the motorcyclist crashed his bike along Interstate 890 shortly after fleeing police.

The accident happened a little before 10 a.m. The 38-year-old biker saw a Glenville police vehicle and tried to flee the officer. Even though the police officer activated his emergency lights, the biker continued into neighboring Rotterdam, where he crashed at an Interstate 890 on-ramp close to Exit 4B. At this time, it's unknown why the officer tried to stop the man.

Woman struck by vehicle while enjoying the beach

A woman was enjoying the Virginia Beach Oceanfront from the vantage point of her beach chair when she was struck by a pickup truck last Thursday. According to authorities, she suffered significant injuries in the incident.

Virginia Beach Police say that the woman was on the sand in a beach chair when a pickup truck came out of nowhere and hit her. Authorities arrived to tend to the accident scene at about 10:48 a.m. The woman was later taken to the hospital to receive medical care.

The top 4 causes of motor vehicle accidents

Motor vehicle accidents happen in countless ways. However, as personal injury lawyers at the Dickerson & Smith Law Group, we encounter similar circumstances against and again. This makes us want to put the word out so drivers can be more careful, alert and avoid these incidents which -- in most cases -- never should have happened in the first place.

Here are the top four causes of motor vehicle accidents that Virginia Beach drivers need to be careful of:

  • Distracted driving: Resist the temptation to use your smartphone while driving, and put down that cheeseburger. These distractions have caused numerous injuries and fatalities on the road. If you're driving, keep both hands on the wheel, both eyes on the road and both feet at the ready to steer, brake and apply gas when needed to avoid a crash.
  • Drunk driving: Virginia Beach drivers should not get behind the wheel, no matter how much alcohol they've drunk. It's just too risky to drink and drive. Thousands of people die throughout the country every year due to this unconscionable and unlawful behavior.
  • Reckless driving: Driving carefully and defensively should be your modus operandi, not trying to get from A to B as quickly as possible. Take care not to tailgate or speed, drive cautiously and follow the rules of the road.
  • Bad weather: What's happening with the weather? Is it raining? Is there ice on the road? Always drive with care and in accordance with current weather conditions.

Virginia Beach police want you to keep an eye out for motorcycles

Virginia Beach police officers have issued a warning, asking drivers to be more aware of motorcyclists and motorcycle safety. The warning comes in the wake of an officer getting injured while riding a motorcycle earlier this month.

On a recent Thursday, a Virginia Beach officer was on duty while riding his patrol motorcycle. He was heading to investigate a car accident that involved injuries close to London Bridge Road. Although the officer had illuminated his emergency lights and activated his siren, he was struck by a Nissan sport utility vehicle. Miraculously, the officer survived the accident with injuries that were not life-threatening injuries. As of last reports, he was already back to work.

Tragic motor vehicle crash claims 2 lives in Virginia Beach

A three-car crash claimed the lives of two people along Interstate 264 last Wednesday not far from Oceanfront. Following the collision, police shut down the interstate for hours during the middle of rush-hour traffic causing massive delays.

The collision happened when a vehicle traveling eastbound drove across the grassy median into oncoming westbound traffic at approximately 7:40 a.m. close to the Birdneck Road exit. The out-of-control vehicle struck two oncoming cars, police say.

Smart braking tips to keep your family safe

There are a lot of dangerous situations on the road, and it's the split-second ways we react to them that can mean the difference between life and death. This especially applies to the use and application of our brakes. Follow the tips below to brake in the most effective and efficient manner to avoid a collision in emergency situations.

Brake softly: Put enough space between you and anything ahead of you so that you can always use the brake pedal lightly. This will reduce wear and tear, improve your gas mileage and keep your vehicle in the safest balance for the best control. Braking slower will also give other vehicle sufficient time to react.

Headlight modulators: Bringing more visibility to motorcyclists

When it comes to safety on a motorcycle, visibility is key. When more of your fellow motorists can see you, and notice you at further distances away, there is a better chance that they will be able to avoid getting into an accident with you. One device that can improve your visibility exponentially on a motorcycle is a headlamp modulator.

Not all motorcycles are equipped with "headlight modulators" but these safety devices can save lives by bringing more visibility to motorcyclists. Modulating headlamps are easily installed on any bike and they're definitely worth the investment.

Motorcycle safety: What's the safest helmet?

When it comes to motorcycle safety gear, some are safer than others. However, when it comes to motorcycle helmets, there are so many options that it's difficult to know which helmets are most likely to save your life in the event of a crash. If you're in the market to buy the safest motorcycle helmet made, there's one thing you should keep in mind: Buy a helmet with full-face protection.

Statistics show that 45 percent of motorcycle accident victims incur an injury to their faces. This fact alone is a compelling reason to use a helmet equipped with face protection. However, scientific studies and research also show that full-face helmets offer the most coverage and support for the face and head.

Here's how you can prevent a car accident

Every Virginia Beach resident can get behind the idea of car accident prevention. These unfortunate events have destroyed many lives by causing permanent injuries, and cut many lives short. The problem is that most drivers in Virginia take their safety for granted after spending years driving on the road without incident, and they don't even take the simplest of precautions to prevent crashes from happening.

At the very least, we'd like to see every Virginia Beach driver do the following things for their safety:

  • Don't linger in the fast lane: The left lane should only be used temporarily for passing. In fact, the majority of accidents on the highway happen to drivers riding in the left lane. When you're driving in the right lane, you're going to have more routes available to you if you have to maneuver around a potential obstacle.
  • Always scan ahead: If you're not looking about 10 to 12 seconds ahead of you when you're driving, you're missing out on the ability to warn yourself in advance of a potential accident. By scanning ahead you'll have extra time to avoid obstacles ahead of you.
  • Every driver has a blind spot: Not every driver can see you through a side or rear-view mirror. Most cars have some kind of a blind spot, and your car will have one too. If you change lanes, you want to make sure you've seen what's there, and you also want to make sure that the drivers around you have seen your new position.
  • Take a race car driving course: This might sound crazy, but race car drivers always know the limits of their vehicles. In a race car class, you can push a vehicle to its limits, know what it feels like when you spin out of control and learn how to regain control again. Most drivers never get to experience these extreme situations until they're about to get into a crash, but a race car driver -- and anyone else with experience driving a car to its limits -- will have a better chance of staying in control during extreme conditions.

Office Location

The Dickerson & Smith Law Group
115 S. Lynnhaven Road
Suite 100
Virginia Beach, VA 23452

Toll Free: 800-506-8133
Phone: 757-828-0031
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