West Virginia is one of the worst states for car accidents. Sadly, it ranks within the top 10 in that regard. A recent study has shown that it ranks at number 8 in the worst states for fatal accidents.
Why are there so many serious accidents in West Virginia?
Motor vehicle accidents are common in all states. However, in West Virginia, the numbers are extremely high. For every 100,000 residents of the state, there are 15 fatal car crashes. A recent study has looked at the statistics for these accidents and determined that the majority of them occur due to poor weather conditions.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, West Virginia has more fatal motor vehicle accidents during flash floods compared with any other state. People can easily lose control of their vehicles when they travel on roads that are flooded. Even a mere foot of water can result in a complete loss of control of a car when it begins to float. Two feet of water can cause a vehicle to get swept away in a flash flood.
Freezing rain and snow are other weather-related reasons for serious motor vehicle accidents occurring in the state. Drivers can lose control and skid out on the slick road surface and crash.
How can you stay safe while driving in West Virginia?
Although it’s not always possible to avoid motor vehicle crashes, you can do your part to stay safer on West Virginia roads. If the weather is bad, even in a rainstorm, you should slow down. Avoid pressing down too hard on your brake and ease up on the gas pedal if your car begins to slide or skid on a slick surface.
Avoid crossing standing water. If there’s a flood, you should avoid driving through water altogether.
Never drive while distracted or under the influence of alcohol or drugs. These practices can significantly increase your risk of getting into a serious accident. If you have to use your phone, make sure to connect it to your vehicle’s infotainment system and only use the hands-free option.
Drive within the posted speed limit. Although it’s sometimes tempting to travel faster, you should avoid doing that as it can increase the risk of an accident.