2022 Annual Report
Data from the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles shows that 1,005 deaths occurred on Virginia’s roadways in 2022, an increase of about 3.8% from the previous year. In addition to these fatalities, 2022 statistics show that 162 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 a 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 of 2022 marked Virginia’s 16th 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.
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, 39 teens died in crashes on Virginia’s roadways in 2022. 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 about 20 schools across Virginia in 2022 with the interactive educational experience.
Another cause of car crashes involves pedestrians and bicyclists. In 2022, 182 (171 pedestrians, 11 bicyclists) people died walking or cycling on Virginia roadways. Pedestrian fatalities actually saw a huge 36.8% increase over 2021 in Virginia. In addition, 529 cyclists and 1,390 pedestrians were injured, demonstrating that these crashes are problematic 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 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 375 unrestrained occupant fatalities in 2022, a 12.3% increase over 2021.
Another preventable and tragic cause of traffic crashes and fatalities is impaired driving. For the seventh 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 2022, 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 mainly through digital means and game/stadium signage.
FINANCIAL SNAPSHOT 2021 (2022 still pending):
Total Revenue: $938,768
Program Expenses: $705,529
Administrative Expenses: $ 197,438
Total Expenses: $904,321
Ending net assets: $512,368