Useful Defensive Driving Tips for Virginians | Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp

Virginia State Police said 14 people died in 11 crashes over the 2011 Labor Day weekend, according to the Virginian-Pilot. State police arrested 110 impaired drivers and cited 2,164 reckless drivers and 7,415 speeders.

The preliminary numbers showed a slight uptick from the previous two years, when 13 deaths were recorded each holiday weekend. In 2011, three separate wrecks involved double fatalities. They happened in Fairfax, Fauquier, and Lancaster counties in Virginia. Two highway deaths involved motorcycle riders.

Drivers in Virginia can impact road safety by following these defensive driving tips:.

  • Maintain your car: Most good driving habits keep a car in better shape, reducing fuel consumption.  This translates to less money on gas, and more money in the pocket. Maintenance extends the life of a car, and increases its resale value.
  • Follow the speed limit. According to the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, speed was a factor in nearly one-third of fatal crashes during 2008.
  • Avoid abrupt starts and stops and do not follow too closely. Accelerate slowly, avoid hard braking and leave plenty of space between you car and other vehicles. This prevents rear-end accidents.
  • Avoid packing items on the top of a car. Overloading a roof rack can cause items to falli off during sudden stops or high winds, which creates the risk for accidents.