What Are the Main Causes of Fatal Virginia Beach Car Accidents?

In 2020, more than 35,000 people died in car accidents in the United States. Roughly 800 of those fatalities took place in Virginia. Car accidents are a major problem nationwide, and multiple factors can contribute to the likelihood of an accident happening. Unfortunately, the majority of fatal car accidents are the direct result of dangerous or negligent behaviors committed by other drivers. 

What is the number one cause of fatal car accidents in Virginia Beach?

If you lost a loved one in a car accident caused by another driver, don’t jeopardize your chances of financial recovery. Call the Virginia Beach wrongful death lawyers at the personal injury law firm of Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp and schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.

Driver Error is the Leading Contributor to Fatal Car Accidents

Data published by the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles shows that the Commonwealth saw 105,600 motor vehicle accidents in 2020, which was its lowest point in the past five years. These crashes result in an average of 800 fatalities and 60,000 injuries annually. Although these car accidents happen for a variety of reasons, one stands out among them in particular: driver error.  

The leading types of driver errors that lead to car accidents are:

  • Unsafe lane changes: Anytime a driver fails to check their blind spots or use their turn indicators before changing lanes, they are at an increased risk of causing a sideswipe accident. 
  • Failure to yield: Failure to yield the right of way to oncoming traffic is dangerous for all vehicles involved. That’s why it’s a traffic violation. Anytime a driver fails to yield, they are at risk of being struck by the driver with the right-of-way and causing an accident with devastating injuries.
  • Tailgating: When a driver fails to leave ample room between their vehicle and the vehicle in front of them, they increase their chances of a rear-end collision should the leading vehicle stop unexpectedly. 
  • Unsafe turns: When a driver fails to signal before turning or attempts to turn from an improper lane could find themselves in the path of oncoming traffic.
  • Disregarding stop signs and red lights: Whether they are in a hurry, failed to notice the sign, or misjudged the amount of time they had, drivers who disregard stop signs and red lights endanger their lives and the lives of those around them. 

If you are injured in a car accident caused by driver error, you can file a claim to hold the negligent driver responsible. An experienced Virginia Beach car accident lawyer can help you recover financial compensation for your accident-related damages.

What Other Factors Contribute To Fatal Car Accidents?

Besides driver error, the other primary contributing factors to fatal Virginia Beach car accidents are:  


In 2020, more than 22,000 speeding-related accidents took place across the country. It takes a speeding vehicle a lot longer to slow down for things such as slowing traffic or an animal in the roadway. Drivers going the speed limit will have plenty of time to notice the potential danger and act accordingly. The faster you go, however, the longer it takes to come to a complete stop, making it more likely to cause a fatal accident.  

Distracted Driving  

When most people hear the term “distracted driving”, they think of texting behind the wheel. In reality, distracted driving is any activity that takes your eyes off the road, hands off the wheel, or mind off the task at hand. Of course, this includes using your phone but it also includes drinking, eating, personal grooming, interacting with passengers, programming your SatNav, and numerous other activities. Distracted driving is a primary factor in about 3,000 fatal car accidents nationwide every year. Not paying attention to your surroundings when you are driving a car can lead to a serious fatal collision. 

Speak With a Virginia Beach Wrongful Death Attorney

The Virginia Beach wrongful death attorneys at Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp have more than four decades of experience helping our clients reach successful resolutions in their wrongful death cases. If a member of your family died due to another person’s negligence, we can help you obtain just compensation for your loss. Call us at (833) 997-1774 or reach out online to schedule your free consultation today. We are located in Virginia Beach with satellite offices in Norfolk, Hampton, and Portsmouth. 

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