Severe Consequences of Highway Accidents

The Commonwealth of Virginia operates the nation’s third-largest state-maintained highway system. Millions of residents and visitors travel the state’s 57,867 miles to get to work, run errands, and travel for pleasure and business. While many of those commuters do arrive at their destination safely, there are thousands who end up seriously injured or dead because of the negligent actions of another driver. Although any vehicle crash has the potential to cause serious to severe injuries, accidents that occur on highways are often more catastrophic, usually due to the higher speeds vehicles are traveling.  The following are some of the most common causes of highway accidents.


Distracted driving is quickly becoming one of the most common causes of car accidents. Whenever a driver takes their eyes off the road, their hands off the wheel, or their mental focus off of driving their vehicle, they put themselves and everyone around them at risk of being injured or killed in a crash. And because vehicles are traveling at higher speeds on a highway compared to local roads, they require more time to slow down if something should occur that requires the driver to decrease speed, such as another vehicle coming into their lane. A driver who is looking at his or her phone when another vehicle drives in front of them may not notice them in time and fail to decrease their speed in time, causing a horrific rear-end crash.


Whether the road a vehicle is on is local or highway, speeding can cause crashes. Speed limits are already higher on highways, so when a driver exceeds those limits, the impact of a crash can be even more devastating than at lower speeds. When a vehicle is traveling at high speeds, its safety restraint systems are greatly limited in how effective they can be in the event of a crash. The vehicle braking system is also affected, taking longer to slow the vehicle down or come to a complete stop. There is also a much higher risk of the driver losing control of the vehicle when it is traveling at excessive speeds.

Lane Changes

A driver who fails to check to make sure the lane is clear, as well as check their blind spots before they switch lanes can cause a terrible crash. A lane change while traveling over the speed limit is also another common cause of highway accidents. When a driver changes lanes while speeding, they are putting themselves and any other motorists near them in danger.

Driver Fatigue

There are more than 325,000 vehicle accidents each year that are related to driver fatigue. Many of these take place on highways due to the monotonous stretches of road, with nothing to look at but miles and miles of white lines. Commercial truck drivers are particularly susceptible to driver fatigue due to the long hours they spend driving, often on highways. Any driver who feels like they are having a hard time focusing on staying awake should immediately pull over to a safe area to get some rest.

Contact a Virginia Personal Injury Attorney

Unfortunately, no matter how many precautions we take, there are always negligent drivers on the road who ignore safety and do not take the same precautions. If you are injured in a crash caused by another driver, a Virginia car accident attorney can assist you in obtaining financial compensation for any losses you have suffered as a result of those injuries. These losses include medical expenses, loss of income, pain and suffering, permanent disability, scarring, and more.

Contact the legal team from Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp today to set up a free and confidential case evaluation.