Fatal Crashes Nearly Double in Rutherford County from 2015 to 2016
A spokesperson with the Tennessee Highway Safety Office says that the increase in the number of fatal accidents that occurred in Rutherford County in 2016 compared to the number in 2015 is “almost a crisis.”
Per a report by WKRN.com, there were 25 fatal accidents in the county in 2015 and 43 in 2016. In addition, there have already been three more car accident deaths in 2017 compared to the same time in 2016.
In response to the growing number of road fatalities, county officials are working on ways to increase traffic law enforcement and educate residents about the risks of driving and the increasing numbers of roadway deaths.
The Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office says that two of the leading factors in accidents are inattentiveness and texting while driving. THSO’s spokesperson says that “distracted driving is killing people every day.”
Statistics from the 2016 accidents show that 11 adults and one child who were killed weren’t wearing their seat belts or properly restrained at the time of the crashes. Four other victims were pedestrians, while 11 were riding motorcycles. Contributing factors for 11 deaths include drugs and alcohol, while speed played a role in seven fatal accidents.
How Can You Reduce Your Risk of Being Involved in a Fatal Car Accident?
Although most car accidents don’t cause any fatalities, there’s always a risk that someone, whether it’s a driver or passenger, will suffer life-threatening injuries due to a crash. Even low-speed car accidents can be potentially deadly under specific circumstances, especially when victims don’t take proper precautions or follow safety measures to protect themselves.
Some of the best ways to reduce your risk of being involved in a fatal accident include:
- Avoid all distractions when you’re behind the wheel.
Texting and driving is one of the most common distractions that leads to accidents, but it’s not the only factor. Using a GPS navigation system, operating your vehicle’s stereo, reaching for something in your glove box or passenger seat, or reading directions are all brief tasks that can have deadly consequences. Keep your eyes and mind focused on the road at all times when you’re behind the wheel.
- Maintain a safe speed.
Staying in the flow of traffic and at or below the speed limit is one of the best ways to avoid an accident. When you speed, you not only have less time to react, but your vehicle also has a much longer stopping distance. And traveling at high speeds is exceptionally dangerous around other vehicles and in dense traffic, as any sudden movements by other drivers, such as merging, slowing, or swerving, can put you at serious risk of a crash.
- Make sure your vehicle is properly and regularly maintained.
The safest vehicles on the road are those that are well-maintained and regularly serviced. Vehicles with malfunctioning or burned out headlights, taillights, and brake lights are difficult to see and more likely to cause accidents when they slow down or turn. In addition, you should also make sure your tires are in good condition and that damaged tires are replaced immediately to prevent blowouts.
- Wear your seat belt.
Striving to drive as safely and responsibly as possible should be the top priority of all drivers, but it doesn’t eliminate the possibility of an accident. That’s why wearing your seat belt is so important. Other drivers are unpredictable, and sometimes accidents occur despite you taking all necessary precautions. However, your seat belt can significantly reduce your chances of suffering injuries, including life-threatening injuries, during a crash.
Above all, obey all traffic laws, take your time, and be patient behind the wheel. Anticipate the movements of other drivers and keep your eyes on the road. Safe driving habits are the best way to reduce your risk of being injured or killed in an accident, and incorporating safety features like seat belts into your daily driving routine can further decrease your chances.
If you or someone you know was hurt in an auto accident that was caused by a negligent driver, you may be eligible to file a claim for compensation. To find out how the Murfreesboro auto accident attorneys at Matt Hardin Law can assist you with your claim, dial (615) 600-4941 or complete a free online consultation form to contact us at our office in Rutherford County.