Virginia Personal Injury Firm Supports State Police Crackdown on Drunk Driving, Cautions Motorists To Drive Safely Over the Holidays

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The Richmond law firm of Marks & Harrison notes that holiday driving can be perilous and supports police efforts to improve safety.

In response to the Virginia State Police’s recent announcement of its crackdown campaign to reduce crashes during the holiday weekend, the attorneys at the Virginia personal injury firm of Marks & Harrison today reminded motorists of the importance of driving safely.

Nine people died in Virginia auto accidents during this year’s five-day Thanksgiving holiday weekend, according to The Associated Press. Those fatalities come amid reports from the state police that overall traffic fatalities are higher this year than at the same time last year.

According to a December 16 VSP news release, 716 people have been killed in car accidents throughout the state this year compared to 705 in 2010. The release also showed that last year’s fatalities over the Christmas weekend were the highest on record since 2007. Over the four-day Christmas holiday, 13 people died on Virginia roads last year. Another six fatalities were recorded over New Year’s weekend.

Those statistics demonstrate why traffic checkpoints and extra enforcement over the holidays are crucial, according to the Richmond personal injury firm.

Virginia State Police have initiated “Operation Strikeforce” for the remaining days in December through Jan. 1. Roving patrols will be out in designated areas to enforce traffic infractions ranging from seat belt violations to reckless driving.

There will also be sobriety checkpoints across Virginia to reduce the number of drunk drivers on the roads. Over this year’s Thanksgiving holiday, 103 drunken drivers were arrested, according to the VSP. Police also issued 8,526 citations for speeding during that time.

Virginia is not the only state that experiences a higher number of crashes over the holidays. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration reports that holiday driving is particularly dangerous because more people are on the roads during those periods and are also driving for longer stretches of time.

Marks & Harrison notes that there are several ways that motorists can exercise caution while driving, such as:

  •     Inspecting your vehicle’s fluids, brakes and tires before hitting the road;
  •     Driving at the posted speed limits or slowing down in highly congested areas;
  •     Avoiding distractions such as cell phones, texting or other handheld devices;
  •     Eliminating the chance for drunk driving by designating a driver before heading to holiday parties;
  •     Pulling over to make or answer phone calls;
  •     Taking regular rest breaks to avoid drowsy driving;
  •     Using safety belts;
  •     Making sure children are properly restrained;
  •     Pulling over if you do not feel comfortable driving in inclement weather; and
  •     Making flexible travel plans or leave early to avoid rushing to your destination.

Virginia also has a “Slow Down, Move Over” law that requires drivers to yield the right-of-way or reduce speed when approaching stationary emergency vehicles, such as ambulances or a car stopped by a police officer.

The law firm’s attorneys pointed out that if a Virginia auto accident happens due to another motorist’s negligence and injures someone, the injured person may have legal grounds to file a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible party.

In those cases, car accident victims may be able to recover compensation for their injuries to cover medical bills, hospital expenses, property damage, rehabilitation and other damages. The chance for reimbursement to help with those burdens illustrates why it is important for motor vehicle accident victims to contact an experienced Virginia car accident attorney at soon as possible, according to the law firm.

About Marks & Harrison

Established in 1911, Marks & Harrison represents clients in a variety of different practice areas, including personal injury, wrongful death, car accidents, tractor trailer accidents, motorcycle accidents, alcohol/drug-related accidents and pedestrian injuries. The firm features eight offices located in the Virginia cities of Richmond, Petersburg, Louisa, Charlottesville, Tappahannock, Hopewell, Staunton and Fredericksburg. To learn more about the firm and your rights if you or a loved one has been injured in an auto accident, call (800) 283-2202 or use the firm’s online contact form.

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