Dying in a car crash isn't the leading cause of death in Virginia but the number of people killed in wrecks is increasing in the Southern part of the state.

When it comes to staying safe on Southern Virginia roads, Harriet Brendon knows from experience every day has its challenges.

"Watch the other guy more than anything else. I'm kind of a defensive driver," Brendon said.

And there's plenty of distractions.

"Watch for dear," said Brendon. "I think a lot of it is drinking, drugs and cell phones."

While she's doing her best to stay safe, many of her neighbors haven't been as lucky.

According to Virginia State Police, the number of people killed in traffic accidents in Virginia is going up.

It's very obvious in Southern Virginia.

Last year 34 people died on major highways in Pittsylvania and Henry Counties.

That's 13 more deaths than in 2011.

Most of the accidents happen on route 58 in Pittsylvania County, on route 29 between Danville and Lynchburg, and on route 220 between Henry County and Roanoke.

Those the are main highways in Southern Virginia. All have sharp turns, steep hills and speed limits up to 65 miles per hour.

Roanoke County had 13 deaths in 2011. That was down to 11 in 2012.

And statewide 775 people died in car crashes in last year than the year before. That number was 764.

Virginia State Police are staying out more often in Southern Virginia and having check points to calm the problem.

"I'm always watching out for the driver that may not be watching me," said driver Eleanor Crumley.

A good tip to stay safe on Virginia's deadly roads.