Friday, April 19, 2024

DMV: Crash Fatalities Involving Commercial Vehicles on the Rise in Portsmouth Region

A multi-vehicle crash in James City County in early 2022. (Courtesy of Virginia State Police)

RICHMOND – While crash fatalities are decreasing in the Portsmouth region, new statistics from the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) show what it calls a “startling increase” in the number of people killed in crashes involving a commercial motor vehicle.

Twenty-eight people were killed as a result of crashes involving a commercial motor vehicle in the Portsmouth region, compared to 16 at the same time in 2021 as of Dec. 31 — an increase of 75%.

Law enforcement officers completing crash reports often indicate the “top driver actions” contributing to the crash, and in these crashes, the majority of those contributing actions were attributed to a driver of a car, rather than the driver of the commercial vehicle, the DMV said.

“Drivers of cars and other passenger vehicles must remember to respect the size and limitations of large commercial vehicles such as tractor-trailers. These trucks simply can’t stop as quickly as a car can and they have big blindspots you should avoid,” said Acting DMV Commissioner Linda Ford, the Governor’s Highway Safety Representative. “Never cut into a truck’s safe following distance and always make sure to signal your intentions early so the truck driver knows where you are headed next.”

Preliminary crash statistics for the Portsmouth region as of Dec. 31. DMV also notes increases in crash deaths among pedestrians, mature drivers and unrestrained motorists locally so far this year. Throughout the Commonwealth in 2022, 996 people died in crashes, a 3% increase compared to 2021.(Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles)

The DMV’s Portsmouth region encompasses the cities of Chesapeake, Emporia, Franklin, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Poquoson, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Virginia Beach and Williamsburg, and the counties of Accomack, Charles City, Gloucester, Greensville, Isle of Wight, James City, Mathews, Northampton, Southampton, Surrey and York.

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