2020 Annual Report
Data from the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles shows that 827 deaths occurred on Virginia’s roadways in 2019. In addition to these fatalities, 2019 statistics show that 180 people were injured EVERY DAY in the Commonwealth from traffic crashes. These are devastating numbers that certainly support the Center for Disease Control finding that motor vehicle crashes were the leading cause of death for people aged 5-19 years of age.
There are various causes for motor vehicle crashes and most of them are preventable. Distractions such as talking or texting on cell phones, reading, or reaching for an object are attributed to 80% of all crashes and 65% of all near-crashes recently studied by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute. DRIVE SMART Virginia has been a pioneer in the fight against distracted driving. April 2019 marked Virginia’s thirteenth annual Distracted Driving Awareness Month which was supported by an official proclamation from Virginia’s governor. DRIVE SMART reached out to employers, associations and the general public statewide to raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving in an effort to reduce the number of crashes attributed to distracting behaviors.
Along with Distracted Driving Awareness Month, DRIVE SMART Virginia organized and conducted the Seventh Annual Distracted Driving Summit. This two-day event held in September in Roanoke brought together over 300 attendees, national speakers, and dedicated companies to educate and raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving.
In addition to distractions, age can also play a factor in motor vehicle crashes. Young and inexperienced drivers are at a high risk for being involved in crashes. Sadly, 65 people died in crashes involving teenagers between the ages of 16 and 19 on Virginia’s roadways in 2019. DRIVE SMART Virginia has been traveling around Virginia with a texting and driving simulator and other hands-on educational activities for high school students. We visited over a dozen high schools and reached more than 3,000 teens with our interactive programming in 2019. We also have a website specifically directed at teenage drivers and their parents to help educate about safe driving habits to aid in reducing the risk of teens being injured or dying in a car crash. Along with the website, we have Twitter and Facebook accounts to reach out to teen drivers.
Another cause of car crashes involves pedestrians and bicyclists. In 2019, 139 (126 pedestrians, 13 bicyclists) people died walking or cycling on Virginia roadways. In addition, 754 cyclists and 1,896 pedestrians were injured, demonstrating that these crashes are on the rise in Virginia. DRIVE SMART VIRGINIA continued our efforts to help improve understanding and create awareness of ways to reduce these roadway injuries and fatalities by holding an annual SHARE THE ROAD Awareness month in September. During this month, companies, organizations, and individuals were asked to use our online toolkit of social media posts, newsletter articles, email blasts, posters, and brochures in to spread the word about sharing the road with bicyclists and pedestrians.
One of the easiest ways to prevent injuries and fatalities involving a motor vehicle is using a seatbelt. Virginia DMV statistics show death rates are 8 times higher when an occupant is not buckled or restrained. DRIVE SMART is involved in the national Click It or Ticket mobilization, providing materials and outreach to Virginia’s drivers related to buckling up. We also exhibit at community and sporting events to reach our target audience and ask attendees to pledge to “Buckle Up. Phone Down.”
Another preventable and tragic cause of traffic crashes and fatalities is impaired driving. For the fourth year, DRIVE SMART Virginia brought the Who’s Your Driver program to Virginia racing fans. This program targets racing fans and asks them to pledge to have a designated driver if they are going to drink. Who’s Your Driver includes onsite activations that include an impaired driving simulator and dozens of brand ambassadors asking fans to pledge to drive sober or have a designated driver. Over 10,000 pledges were collected at Richmond Raceway, Martinsville Speedway, and several small tracks.
In 2019, DRIVE SMART Virginia brought the What’s Your Gameplan program to Virginia Tech. Similar to the Who’s Your Driver program, What’s Your Gameplan targets football fans and asks them to have a sober driver and buckle up. The program was the sponsor of the Virginia Tech football spring scrimmage and season home-opener.
Outreach Activities in 2019
• Martinsville Speedway Who’s Your Driver activation, Martinsville, VA, 60,000 attendees
• Henry County high school events, Henry County, VA 600 students
• Martinsville High School event, Martinsville, VA, 200 students
• Insurance Institute for Highway Safety event, Ruckersville, VA, 75 attendees
• Danville Braves event, Danville, VA, 2,000 attendees
• Eastman Performance Films Employee Safety Events, Fieldale, VA, 200 attendees
• Virginia Tech What’s Your GamePlan activation, Blacksburg, VA, over 100,000 attendees at 3 events
• South Boston K&N Who’s Your Driver race, South Boston, VA, 5,000 attendees
- DMV Highway Safety Conference exhibit, Roanoke, VA 200 attendees
- Martinsville Speedway teen driver event, 400 attendees
• Presentation to USS George Washington crew members, 3,000 attendees
• Newport News Public Works employee safety event, Newport News, VA, 200 attendees
• Norfolk Tides Baseball event, Norfolk, VA, 8,000 attendees
• Virginia Occupational Safety and Health conference, Williamsburg, VA, 400 attendees
• Mid-Atlantic DUI Conference exhibit, Virginia Beach, VA, 200 attendees
• VTCA Spring Conference exhibit, Hampton, VA, 300 attendees
• Langley Speedway Who’s Your Driver Race, Langley, VA, 3,000 attendees
• Virginia Motor Speedway Who’s Your Driver race nights, Jamaica, VA, 2,000 attendees
• US Postal Service presentation, Suffolk, VA, 50 attendees
• Two Richmond Raceway NASCAR outreach events, Richmond, VA, 80,000 attendees
• VDOT safety fair, Richmond, VA, 300 employees
• Virginia Department of Transportation high school safety event, Richmond, VA, 50 attendees
• State Fair of Virginia, Doswell, VA, 200,000 attendees
• Que Pasa Festival exhibit, Richmond, VA, 20,000 attendees
• National Night Out simulator event, Richmond, VA, 200 attendees
• National Night Out exhibit, Crewe, VA, 200 attendees
• George Mason University Eagle Bank Arena, Fairfax, VA, Almost 280,000 annual attendees
• Potomac Nationals, Fairfax, VA, 10,000 attendees at 2 events
• Chantilly High School simulator event, Fairfax, VA, 300 students
- Woodson High School simulator event, Fairfax, VA, 300 students
- James Madison High School simulator event, Fairfax, VA 200 students
- Fairfax County employee safety roadeo, Fairfax, VA, 150 attendees
• DRIVE SMART organized Distracted Driving Awareness Month in April which was held across Virginia. Over 250 businesses, schools, counties, enforcement agencies, and organizations signed up as a safety partner in this effort and thousands of distracted driving materials were ordered and distributed during the month.
• DRIVE SMART organized Virginia Bike and Pedestrian Awareness Month in September which was held across Virginia. Almost 300 safety partners from Virginia signed up to be a safety partner for the Bike and Pedestrian Awareness Month.
FINANCIAL SNAPSHOT 2018 (2019 still pending):
Total Revenue: $1,317,782
Program Expenses: $1,218,207
Administrative Expenses: $ 128,336
Total Expenses: $1,347,655
Ending net assets: $447,672