5 Common Offenses to Avoid Associated with Car Accidents in Virginia
According to the Virginia car crash facts report of 2016-2020, there were about 105,600 car crashes resulting in 847 deaths and 52,668 injuries. The report also states that most of these accidents are associated with drivers who don’t follow road rules and regulations. Drivers need to avoid committing any offense while driving to avoid getting involved in an accident. If you plan on driving, it is essential to know about some common traffic offenses associated with car accidents and prevent them.
1. Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol
When you’re drunk behind the wheel, it’s impossible to remain as alert and focused as you need to be. DUI can have serious consequences not only for your safety but also for other drivers on Virginia roads. As a result, DUI is a criminal offense that can lead to significant jail time and fines. (See Section 18.2-266 of Chapter 10 of Title 46.2) If you are found guilty of driving under the influence, you may also face driver’s license suspension or revocation.
Even if there are no injuries involved, being charged with DUI can significantly impact your life going forward—and that means hiring an experienced defense attorney to fight these charges is crucial. An attorney will know how to use all available evidence against prosecution claims and help protect your rights. You can contact kendalllawfirm.net/harrisonburg-personal-injury-lawyer/car-accident-lawyer/ for all your legal needs after a car accident.
Speed limits tend to keep everyone safe on the roads. If you regularly drive over them, you’re far more likely to have an accident. If you’ve been involved in a car accident and were moving too fast, your insurance company may not pay out benefits for your injuries.
In Virginia, speed limits vary from 55 mph to 65 mph, depending on road type. For example, interstate highways are 65 mph; most other major highways are 60 mph; state routes and U.S. routes typically range from 55 mph to 60 mph; city streets and secondary roads can be as low as 25 mph to 30 mph depending on location.
If you’re at fault for speeding during a car accident in Virginia, it could result in stiff fines. Your fine will depend on how much over the limit you were going when you had your accident. It could also affect your driver’s license status—the DMV will add points if they believe speeding was a factor in causing an accident that led to injury or death.
3. Improper Lane Change
One of the most common offenses associated with car accidents in Virginia is improper lane change. The problem lies in drivers’ failure to signal before changing lanes and to observe traffic when making a lane change. If you’re driving and want to switch lanes, make sure to signal your intent, then check your rearview mirror and side mirrors before pulling out into another lane. Never assume that other drivers will see you or allow you to merge; it’s up to you to ensure that your actions don’t put others at risk.
You could face severe penalties if you cause an accident because of an improper lane change. However, if you find yourself on the wrong end of such an offense, there are steps you can take to protect your rights. Contacting a knowledgeable attorney who has experience handling cases like yours can help you understand your options moving forward.
4. Following Too Close
When you tailgate other drivers, you’re less aware of your surroundings and more prone to distractions. Not only that, but tailgating often provokes road rage. Road rage can lead to aggressive driving, distracted driving, and weaving between lanes—all behaviors that increase your risk of a car accident. The best advice? Use your signal light when changing lanes; leave enough space between you and other vehicles; refrain from honking at cars who cut you off or don’t let you merge.
According to crash data from DMV, the habit accounts for about 11% of car accident injuries in Virginia. To avoid such accidents and their consequences, keep plenty of distance between yourself and other vehicles on the road.
5. Failure to Yield
It’s illegal to enter an intersection or crosswalk if a vehicle or pedestrian is waiting there. You must yield to all other cars and pedestrians by stopping your vehicle, slowing down, and making sure it’s safe before you proceed through. If someone causes an accident while failing to yield, they may be liable for damages—even if they weren’t at fault for causing the accident.
An auto accident attorney can help protect your rights in case of an accident resulting from failure to yield. According to DMV, failure to yield accounts for about 7.5% of car accident injuries.
Being involved in a car accident is a traumatic experience, but it doesn’t need to be complicated. After an accident, the most important thing to do is contact your car accident lawyer to help you pursue your legal rights. To have a legal claim against another driver, you must notify your insurance company within 24 hours of an accident. If you wait more than 24 hours, you may not be able to claim any injuries or damages sustained in an accident. Keep safe on the roads and remind your occupants to keep occupants restrained in their seats. It could save your life!