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8/12/2008 - Latest Virginia Traffic Crash Facts Now Available - Data Guides Safety Efforts

RICHMOND - Knowing the circumstances of a crash, and how many crashes are occurring in certain locations, is vital for targeting Virginia's enforcement initiatives, making legislative decisions, conducting crash prevention education and awareness campaigns, and engineering roads.

Virginia Crash Facts, published since 1985 by the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles: the Virginia Highway Safety Office, is the resource for highway safety advocates to study and address long-term trends. For example, the increase in vehicle miles traveled (36 percent), licensed drivers (23 percent) and registered vehicles (50 percent) from 1990 to 2007 shows some of the factors related to this year's 1,026 traffic fatalities.

According to the 2007 Virginia Crash Facts, now available at www.dmvNOW.com/highwaysafety, 1,026 people were killed and 68,822 were injured in traffic crashes last year, a six percent increase from 2006. However, reported traffic crashes (145,405) were down four percent from 2006.

Virginia Crash Facts is used by legislators, law enforcement, state agencies, private and non-profit organizations, news media and the public. "This information helps us pinpoint where, when and why these crashes are occurring," said John Saunders, director of the Virginia Highway Safety Office.

The data addresses a variety of aspects related to motor vehicle crashes including traffic controls, the environment and driver action, such as alcohol use. For example, 28,787 people were convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) last year, almost a three percent decrease compared to 2006. Of those convicted, 80 percent were male and almost 19 percent were female. Virginia Crash Facts also tallies the number of crashes involving pedestrians, bicycles, motorcycles, mopeds, motor homes, trucks, vans, school buses, trains, tractor trailers and more.

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