August 23, 2006
Last year was deadly on highways and roads across the nation, including Virginia.
Nationwide, traffic deaths reached the highest level since 1990, with more than 43,000 people killed on the highways.
Locally, the number of fatalities increased as well. According to the Virginia State Police, traffic-related deaths went up by 2.7%.
Police said it has a lot to do with drivers not paying attention. For instance, talking on their cell phones or looking at the scenery and not watching the road.
"People are multi-tasking,” said Sergeant David Cooper, of the Virginia State Police. “I think that's one of the reasons why we are having a lot of problems--[they are] trying to do too much. Driving should be a one task operation.”
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it is also due to an increase in motorcycle and pedestrian fatalities.
Already this year, Virginia has seen more motorcycle accidents than any other year prior. Nearly half the riders were not wearing helmets.
Statistics show more than half of passengers killed in car accidents were not wearing seat belts.