Seven people died in Virginia traffic accidents over the three-day 4th of July weekend this year, according to the Virginia State Police. Three of the fatal crashes claimed the lives of motorcycle riders, underscoring the dangers of motorcycle accidents.
Ten people were killed during the same time frame in 2012, and the state police expressed gratitude for the decrease this year. But police are quick to warn drivers about the dangers of traveling during the busy summer months.
In a statement, Virginia State Police Superintendent Colonel W. Steven Flaherty said: “The Commonwealth is a popular summer destination for many within and outside our state, which means an increased volume in traffic on highways and rural routes. Patience, driving distraction free, and complying with posted speed limits are imperative to the safety of every adult and child riding on our roads.”
The state police increased patrols, sobriety checkpoints, and traffic stops over the Independence Day weekend. It appears that their efforts paid off.
Over the holiday weekend, troopers issued almost 10,500 citations to speeding drivers, up from about 9,200 in 2012. They also arrested 93 drunk drivers and issued 2,524 tickets for reckless driving.
However, according to news reports, state police responded to more crashes this year than last. There were 719 crashes during the 4th of July weekend in 2012 and 795 this year.
Two of the three fatal motorcycle accidents happened when the riders lost control of their bikes. The third was caused by a driver who collided head on with a motorcyclist. These tragic accidents demonstrate the importance of rider safety measures. Virginia requires all motorcycle riders to wear approved helmets. Statistics cited by the VA DMV indicate that riders without helmets are 40% more likely to die in a motorcycle accident than those who use protective headgear.
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