The Prevalence of Motor Vehicle Crashes in Tennessee
A 2018 World Population Review report determined that out of ten states nationwide with the most fatal car crashes, Tennessee came in at number eight with 974. The National Safety Council states that motor vehicle accidents are among the top three causes of preventable, injury-related deaths. With more technology in cars and other distractions for drivers on Tennessee roads, the statistics we will share are a wake-up call to why it’s critical to practice defensive driving and obey road rules. Here’s what you need to know:
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Tennessee Motor Vehicle Crash Stats
As of April 28, 2021, the following motor vehicle crash data has been reported by the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security year-to-date for 2021:
- Traffic Fatalities: 381 (+25.7% compared to the same YTD for 2020)
- Crashes: 1,720 (+15.9% compared to 2020same YTD for 2020)
- Large Truck Fatal Crashes: 57 (0% change – there were 57 large truck fatal crashes the same YTD for 2020)
- Large Truck crashes: 3,874 (+8.09% compared to the same YTD for 2020)
Tennessee Crash Stats Involving Restraint Use
According to the data recorded in 2020, in Tennessee, the following statistics involve the use/non-use of restraints in the state:
- An improperly or unrestrained driver was injured or killed in a motor vehicle crash every 3 hours, 28 minutes, and 14 seconds.
- An improperly or unrestrained driver was 61 times more likely to die in a crash than a properly restrained driver.
- The improperly or unrestrained driver in a collision was 2 times more often a man than a woman.
- An improperly or unrestrained driver was 3 times more likely to be injured in a crash than a properly restrained driver.
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Tennessee Crash Stats Involving Distracted Drivers
Data recorded by the Department of Safety and Homeland Security between March 1, 2020, and February 28, 2021, revealed these alarming statistics about distracted driving in Tennessee:
- A motor vehicle crash involving a distracted driver occurred every 26 minutes and 57 seconds.
- The highest group of distracted drivers were between the ages of 20 and 34 at 40.55%.
- The lowest group of distracted drivers were 65 years of age and older at 7.93%.
- 1 in 15 drivers involved in a motor vehicle crash was distracted.
- Men had more distracted driving accidents than women.
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How do Motor Vehicle Accidents Occur?
Many factors contribute to motor vehicle accidents, such as inclement weather, unclear traffic signs, and malfunctioning traffic signals. While drunk driving is one of the top causes of deadly motor vehicle accidents, distracted driving comes in ahead of intoxicated driving crashes. Here are the latest numbers (2019) reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):
- 3,142 people died due to distracted drivers.
- 9% of all fatal crashes involved distracted driving behaviors.
- Between 2012 and 2019, over 26,000 people died in distracted driving crashes.
Distracted driving can come in many forms, but some of the most common distracted driving behaviors are:
- Talking/texting on a smartphone
- Eating or drinking
- Plugging in GPS information
- Grooming (combing hair, putting on makeup, shaving)
- Tending to children in the backseat
- Arguing with a significant other or passengers
- Rubbernecking/looking at roadside distractions
How Can Tennessee Drivers Make Travel Safer?
We can all do our part to reduce the number of motor vehicle crashes happening on Tennessee roads. Here are some defensive driving tips to reduce your risk of being involved in a motor vehicle crash and to help save lives:
- Stay focused on the road and limit distractions. To avoid the temptation of answering a call or text while you are driving, keep your phone on silent mode and locked in the glove compartment or purse. You can also set an auto-response to let callers and texters know you are driving.
- Expect other drivers to make mistakes and keep your eyes peeled for drivers who are swerving or displaying bad driving habits.
- Obey speed limits. Keeping a “led foot” on the gas pedal can be a catalyst to a crash.
- Seatbelts save lives. Keep yourself and your passengers buckled up for optimal safety.
- Refrain from tailgating. Driving too close behind the vehicle in front of you can put you at risk of an accident. If the other driver suddenly stops short, you may not have enough time or room to brake without hitting them.
- Keep in mind that you and others have blind spots. Blind spots are especially a problem for truck drivers, so if you drive alongside a truck, automatically assume that the truck driver cannot see you.
Getting Help After Being Injured in a Car Accident
Whether you’re driving to school, work, or running errands, you’re not thinking about the chances of getting into a motor vehicle crash — however, one can happen in the blink of an eye. When it involves a negligent driver causing severe injuries that could have been avoided, it can make it that much more devastating. If you or a loved one were hurt in a car accident, we are here to help you seek justice. Our personal injury lawyers will work with you every step of the way to ensure you are protected against lowball settlements from insurance companies.
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