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Driving in West Virginia: Dangerous and deadly

There is no doubt about it: West Virginia is a dangerous state to drive in. As of late November, 242 people had been killed in car crashes in the state. Our accident fatality rate is higher than the national rate and in states that surround West Virginia.

There are several factors that make West Virginia more dangerous: our mountainous terrain, as well as drunken driving and speeding. Sixty-two percent of fatal motor vehicle accidents happen in rural areas, while 32 percent of deadly crashes involve excess speed, according to a recent article in the Charleston Gazette-Mail.

Alcohol is also a primary cause of West Virginia traffic accidents and fatalities. One of every four fatal crashes here involves a driver with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 percent or higher. In the Mountain State, .08 is the legal limit.

West Virginia's car crash fatality rate is 14.7 per 100,000 people. That's significantly higher than the national average of 11.6 per 100,000 and higher than the rates in the surrounding states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia and Maryland. Only neighboring Kentucky also has a rate higher than the national average, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says.

Our state's crumbling roads are due to get some needed repairs, thanks to the recently passed $1.6 billion road bond. According to the news article, the measure will also help improve signs that warn drivers of poor driving conditions.

Those who have been injured in car accidents caused by speeding, distracted or drunk drivers can speak to an attorney experienced in personal injury and wrongful death litigation.

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