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Unbelted vehicular deaths continue to rise in spite of decrease in traffic

With many Virginians working at home and staying home more than usual, overall traffic deaths have decreased; however, the rate of people dying on the state’s roads in unbelted crashes during the pandemic has increased.

“We have all observed some drivers practicing unsafe behaviors with less vehicles on the roadways, but the most disturbing trend is that more people are dying because they are not making the simple decision to click their seat belts,” said Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles Commissioner Richard D. Holcomb, Gov. Ralph Northam’s Highway Safety Representative.

When comparing crash data from last year and 2020 between Jan. 1 through June 30, unrestrained fatalities increased nearly 16 percent with 161 people dying in unbelted crashes during that time this year.

Virginia DMV launched a buckle up educational campaign to encourage all drivers to wear their seat belts—especially those who wear their belts the least, men ages 18 to 35 living in rural areas of Virgin...

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