Virginia 2020 crash statistics show highest number of speed-related fatalities in at least 10 years

Virginia News

(Photo: Courtesy MGN)

RICHMOND, Va. (WFXR) — On Thursday, the Governor’s Executive Leadership Team on Highway Safety announced Virginia’s crash statistics for 2020, which showed a slight increase in overall crash fatalities compared to 2019, as well as the highest number of speed-related fatalities in at least a decade.

There was a significant decline in traffic volume in 2020 because of the pandemic. In addition, according to the report shared on Thursday, June 24, serious injuries declined by five percent in 2020.

However, the number of overall crash fatalities in the Commonwealth increased by two percent, going from 827 fatalities in 2019 to 847 fatalities in 2020.

On top of that, officials say Virginia’s speed-related fatalities rose to 406, which is not only a 16 percent increase from 2019, but also the highest number reported in at least 10 years.

The number of people who weren’t wearing their seatbelt and died because of crashes also increased by nearly 13 percent, rising from 304 in 2019 to 343 in 2020.

“Although the number of vehicle crashes decreased during the pandemic, we saw more fatalities related to speed, alcohol, and failure to wear a seat belt. These decisions have heartbreaking consequences that affect families and communities across Virginia,” said Secretary of Transportation Shannon Valentine. “Our transportation agencies are committed to working diligently to reverse these trends so everyone arrives home safely.”

The Governor’s Executive Leadership Team is led by the Secretary of Transportation and the Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security. The team is also composed of representatives from the Virginia Departments of Motor Vehicles, Health, Education, Transportation, and State Police, all of whom are charged with reducing serious injuries and fatalities on Virginia’s roadways and driving change in the Commonwealth’s highway safety culture.

“Our state troopers and other first responders encounter the devastating effects of speed on our roadways every day,” said Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian Moran. “These incidents and others like it could have been prevented by drivers and passengers making the right choice to follow the speed limit and buckling up. These aren’t simply statistics – they are people’s lives.”

Here is the data provided by the Governor’s Executive Leadership Team on Highway Safety on Thursday:

CATEGORY20192020PERCENTAGE CHANGE
Speed-related fatalities349406+16.33%
Unrestrained fatalities304343+12.83%
Alcohol-related fatalities264272+3.03%
Mature driver-related fatalities201179-10.95%
Distracted driving-related fatalities120121+0.83%
Pedestrian fatalities124114-8.06%
Motorcyclist fatalities8987-2.25%
Teen driver-related fatalities (ages 15-19)6572+10.77%
Large truck-related fatalities5265+25%
Moped rider fatalities1312-7.69%
Work zone-related fatalities1711-35.29%
Bicyclist fatalities138-38.46%

The final numbers for the 2020 crash statistics are available for analysis in the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles’ automated Traffic Records Electronic Data System (TREDS), which serves as the Commonwealth’s central repository for crash data and related information.

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