State police said in all of last year, a total of eight people died in traffic crashes in Pittsylvania County. So far this year, 15 have lost their lives.
State Police don't know why the numbers have shot up, but said they do fluctuate over the years. What they do know is all but one of all the fatal car accidents this year easily could have been prevented by simply following the law, like using your seat belt.
State Police in Pittsylvania County said they are doing what they can to make sure people are driving safely. They're participating in the new nationwide Drive to Save Lives safety campaign. The goal is to reduce highway fatalities by 15 percent.
They said they are stepping up patrols and enforcement all over the county, but need motorists to do their part by always driving smart.
"People just need to make sure they're not complacent. They may know the roads when they're out here driving but they need to realize that they still need to get rid of the distractions. Stop texting while they're driving. Maybe get rid of the number of passengers in their car, that takes away from their eyes not being focused on the roadway. Don't drink and drive, those things really hit home and really make a difference," said 1st Sgt. John H. Turner, Virginia State Police Area 43 Commander.
Police also say the crashes weren't highly concentrated in one area, they were spread around the county.