Dear Friend,

I’ve got some important news to share with you. This past Memorial Day weekend, the roads in Virginia turned deadly. Eleven people lost their lives in nine crashes across the state. This is a stark reminder that our highways can be dangerous, especially during busy travel times.

In Goochland and Henry Counties, there were two double fatalities. Single fatalities occurred in Newport News, Craig, Dinwiddie, Fairfax, Franklin, and Lynchburg. A tragic motorcycle crash took a life in Lynchburg on May 26, and a pedestrian was struck and killed in Fairfax County on May 24. Dinwiddie County experienced two separate fatal crashes during the four-day holiday period.

Colonel Gary T. Settle, Superintendent of Virginia State Police, said it best: “Eleven people is far too many lives lost. If this summer is going to be a safe one, drivers must watch their speed, buckle up, drive sober, and focus on the roads.”

These tragedies happened in spite of law enforcement’s best efforts.  All available troopers were on patrol. They cited over 3,500 drivers for speeding and over 1,400 for reckless driving. And almost 100 drivers were arrested for Driving Under the Influence. Troopers also cited over three hundred drivers for violating the “hands-free” phone law.

Look, folks, summer just started, but for some, this holiday weekend was a tragic and senseless end. As you look ahead to summer travel on July 4th, which is just around the corner, please stay safe behind the wheel.

Here are some simple steps you can take to protect yourself and others:

  1. Watch Your Speed: Speeding is one of the leading causes of accidents. Always obey the speed limits and drive according to road conditions.
  2. Buckle Up: Seat belts save lives. Make sure you and all your passengers are buckled up every time you get in the car.
  3. Drive Sober: Alcohol and drugs impair your ability to drive safely. If you plan to drink, arrange for a sober ride home. Don’t drive tipsy. Don’t drive buzzed.  Just don’t do it.
  4. Focus on the Road: Distracted driving is a major problem. Put your phone away and focus on driving. No text or call is worth a life.
  5. Stay Aware: Watch out for other drivers. If you see someone driving recklessly, keep your distance and report them to the authorities if it’s safe to do so.
  6. Plan Your Trip: Before you hit the road, make sure your vehicle is in good condition. Check your tires, brakes, and lights. Plan your route and give yourself plenty of time to reach your destination.

By following these simple guidelines, you can help make our roads safer for everyone. But sometimes, despite our best efforts, accidents happen. If you or someone you love is ever injured due to the negligence of another driver, don’t hesitate to reach out to my office. You have rights, and I’m here to help in every way I can.

This summer, let’s make a commitment to safe driving. We’ve seen the tragic consequences of reckless and distracted driving. Eleven lives lost is eleven too many. Let’s work together to make sure that number doesn’t grow. Be mindful, be careful, and let’s make this summer a safe one for everyone on the road.

Stay safe, stay vigilant, and enjoy your summer travels and until next time, please be safe, and NEVER text while driving!

Paul Samakow

Attorney Paul Samakow

703-761-4343 or 301-949-1515

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