"[W]ear the seat belt, put the phone down, concentrate on driving."
That was the earnest plea delivered earlier this week by one Virginia law enforcer to motorists across the state.
Obviously, that admonition is well-timed at any time of the year, given the perils of the road at all times, even for the most conscientious and focused of drivers.
It is even more imperative that the mantra be dusted off and forcefully delivered right now, though, in light of the Thanksgiving holiday season now upon us.
One central and indisputable driving-related fact comes with Turkey Day and the timeframe immediately preceding and following it, and that is this: Streets and highways across the state entail more risk than usual.
Here's some evidence of that: Virginia State Police officials report that nine people died in motor vehicle accidents last year during the Thanksgiving holiday. And 16 people have been victims in fatal accidents across the state in just the past 10 days.
The reasons for that are many, of course.
Traffic volume is obviously one key catalyst. The safety group AAA estimates that about 1.3 million Virginia drivers will be motoring around over the next few days for sit-downs with families and friends. A legion of drivers on the road always translates to a risk-pronounced environment.
And that escalated flow is coupled with myriad and ubiquitous problem driving behaviors, such as behind-the-wheel drunk driving, speeding, inattentiveness and other crash-inducing catalysts. Over the holiday season last year, state troopers cited an astounding 12,000-plus motorists for driving too fast.
Our attorneys and staff at the long-tenured Richmond personal injury law firm of ParisBlank, LLP, always endorse safe driving, and we wish a safe driving experience for all our readers across the state over a span of days that entail some singular risks and challenges.