Annual Report

2023 DRIVE SMART Virginia Annual Report

The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles shows that 907 deaths occurred on Virginia’s roadways in 2023, a decrease of almost 10% from the previous year. 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 of 2023 marked Virginia’s 17th annual Distracted Driving Awareness Month. 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.

DSV also hosted the 10th Annual Distracted Driving Summit on September 13-14, 2023 in Blacksburg, Virginia. There were 260 in-person attendees and 15 virtual attendees with 27 exhibits on site as well. Sessions related to vulnerable road users, corporate and community strategies, law enforcement, and research and technology were presented by expert speakers from across the country.

In addition to distractions, age can also play a factor in motor vehicle crashes. Young and inexperienced drivers are at a high risk of being involved in crashes. Sadly, 32 teens died in crashes involving teen drivers on Virginia’s roadways in 2023. DRIVE SMART Virginia has been traveling around Virginia with a distracted driving simulator and other hands-on educational activities for high school students. DRIVE SMART reached about 20 high schools across Virginia, reaching over 5,000 teens in 2023 with the interactive educational experience.

Another cause of car crashes involves pedestrians and bicyclists. In 2023, 148 (133 pedestrians, 15 bicyclists) people died walking or cycling on Virginia roadways. 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 Bicycle and Pedestrian Awareness month in October to align with NHTSA’s pedestrian safety month. 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 with our See and Be Seen messaging and graphics.

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. Our “Love Clicks” message reminds drivers to buckle up for their loved ones. Virginia saw 335 unrestrained occupant fatalities in 2023 and one of the lowest usage rates in the country at 75.6%, according to 2022 observational surveys (2023 not yet released).

Another preventable and tragic cause of traffic crashes and fatalities is impaired driving. For the eighth 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 signage, social media, and digital programming.

In 2023, DRIVE SMART Virginia continued to deliver the What’s Your Gameplan program to college football fans. Similar to the Who’s Your Driver program, What’s Your Gameplan asks fans to have a sober driver and buckle up. The What’s Your Gameplan program partnered with Virginia Tech, Norfolk State University, The University of Virginia, and Virginia Union University football programs to deliver safety messaging. The program was delivered through digital means and game/stadium signage.


Below is a snapshot of DRIVE SMART Virginia’s metrics for 2023 programming:

  • Received over 500 orders and shipped 88,400 materials from our free online store – includes brochures, posters, yard signs, etc.
  • Saw almost 20,000 website users, including over 2,000 downloads of toolkit resources.
  • Participated in 98 community and workplace events reaching over 300,000 people in-person.
  • Reached over 60,000 people through social media followers and had over 3 million impressions/views on social media channels.
  • Reached over 500,000 sports fans with What’s Your GamePlan messaging and 3.3 million racing fans with Who’s Your Driver messaging.
  • Include almost 15,000 contacts receive regular newsletters and communications.
  • Featured in almost 2 dozen media sources such as TV, newspapers, etc.


2022 Financial Snapshot (2023 not yet available):

Total Revenue: $1,203,748
Program Expenses: $931,439
Administrative Expenses: $55,234
Fundraising: $2,134
Total Expenses: $988,807
Ending net assets: $653,102