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DMV Urges Virginians to Prioritize Pedestrian Safety Behind The Wheel  

The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is asking for drivers to help keep pedestrians safe on the roadways. Preliminary numbers show that so far this year there have been 453 crashes involving pedestrians in Virginia. Of those crashes, 442 pedestrians were injured and 35 were tragically killed.  

 “We cannot ignore these numbers,” said DMV Commissioner Gerald Lackey, the Governor’s Highway Safety Representative. “But more importantly, we have to start thinking of the numbers we share as what they really are – human lives. Every single one of the 477 pedestrians injured or killed so far this year in Virginia are someone’s child, parent, spouse, best friend and whole world. We need to value and protect each other on the roadways. That means slowing down and keeping our eyes on the road. Every second counts when it comes to keeping our friends and family safe inside and outside of our cars.” 

 DMV is reminding motorists of two small steps they can take to make a big impact on safety – slow down and look up.  

 Slow Down:  

Speed plays a major factor in a pedestrian’s chances of surviving a crash. In the graphic below from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), you can see that a pedestrian who is hit by a vehicle traveling 32 mph has a 25% risk of death. By adding just 10 mph, that risk doubles and if the vehicle is moving 50 mph that risk of death jumps to 75%. Be sure to obey posted speed limits no matter where you go. 

Look Up: 

Many people see no harm in texting, sorting through their playlist or adjusting their navigation while driving. But there are serious dangers hidden in those seconds of your eyes being off the road. You could easily miss a pedestrian stepping out to cross the road, and those seconds could be the difference between life and death. Remember that driving requires all of your attention and awareness of your surroundings. This is particularly important in neighborhoods, shopping centers and other locations where more pedestrians are sharing the roadway. Keep your eyes on the road to keep pedestrians safe. See what a difference a few seconds can make in this video from NHTSA and the Ad Council. 

 To learn more about pedestrian safety and how you can help, please visit our website. For local statistics on pedestrian crashes, please see the chart below or contact Jillian Cowherd. 

The below chart shows preliminary numbers (January 1 – April 10, 2024) as crash reports can take time before reaching DMV. Cities and Counties with zero crashes have been removed. 

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