According to AAA Mid-Atlantic, 58.9 percent of the 7,945 people who died in vehicle accidents over the last 5 years in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia were involved in single-vehicle crashes.
“We are seeing a troubling trend — an epidemic of single-vehicle crashes…on area roads,” John B. Townsend II, a spokesman for AAA Mid-Atlantic, told theWashington Post. “In addition to operator error and unforgiving roads, certain risk factors — such as driving at an excessive rate of speed, driving at night, driving under the influence, and having a track record of prior traffic convictions and crashes — are the leading common denominators.”
Townsend conducted his research using National Highway Traffic Safety Administrationstatistics from 2004 to 2008. He concluded that in 2008, almost 60 percent of the 1,449 people killed in crashes in the three jurisdictions died in single-vehicle crashes. They accounted for nearly 64 percent of Virginia road fatalities, 62 percent of the District’s and 53 percent of those in Maryland.
This week, another single-vehicle fatal crash made headlines when U.S. soccer player Charlie Davies was involved in an early-morning accident on the George Washington Parkway near Washington, D.C. The accident tore the vehicle in two, and a female passenger was killed. Davies, who had just helped his U.S. soccer team qualify for the 2010 World Cup on Saturday, was rushed to Washington Hospital Center.
Photo courtesy of jonfeinstein under the Creative Commons License.