Last week in this blog, we discussed new statistics showing that Memphis, Tennessee is one of the most dangerous areas in the country for young drivers. Memphis has one of the highest fatal car accident rates for drivers between the age of 15 and 24.
This phenomenon, while saddening, has not gone without notice. State law enforcement and traffic safety authorities are working hard on strategies aimed at reducing fatal car accident rates throughout Tennessee.
Last month, Department of Safety and Homeland Security commissioner Bill Gibbons delivered an address to state troopers in Knoxville on the importance of taking proactive steps toward eliminating car accident deaths.
Specifically, Gibbons pointed to the need to reduce drunk driving rates. Approximately one-third of all Tennessee fatal accidents are caused by drunk drivers. Nearly all of these deaths could have been prevented if the at-fault driver had not made the choice to drive under the influence.
In addition, Gibbons stressed importance of increasing enforcement of Tennessee’s seat belt laws. He said about half of all fatal accident victims were found to not be wearing their seatbelts.
Troopers have taken this message to heart. Since this time last year, statewide seatbelt citations have gone up by 52 percent and DUI arrests have risen by 42 percent. In addition, troopers have increased their drug-interdiction efforts, since drugged driving can be just as dangerous as drunk driving.
Hopefully these strategies will help reduce the number of preventable car accident fatalities. There is simply no reason that so many Tennessee residents should be dying on our state’s roads.
Source: WBIR, “Tenn. works to decrease number of deadly crashes,” July 18, 2012.