Clarksville’s chief of police recently told reporters that the number of fatal accidents in the city has increased significantly, with 28 fatal wrecks reported in 2016.
Per a report by Clarksville Now, the 28 fatalities in 2016 is a five-year high. The next highest total was 10 in 2011. The chief said that most, if not all the fatal crashes in the city are avoidable.
The Clarksville Police Department’s traffic commander says that most fatal accidents involve either distracted driving, speeding, or alcohol involvement. He says that accidents with these contributing factors are also responsible for multiple deaths.
The CDP says that around 20 officers are assigned to traffic duty, but because the city’s population is increasing, more people are on the roadways. Some of the streets with the highest numbers of crashes in 2016 were Wilma Rudolph Boulevard, Fort Campbell Boulevard, and Trenton Road.
Trends show that those same roadways will continue to be hotspots for accidents well into 2017. The CPD’s police chief says that having more officers assigned to traffic patrol would help reduce the number of accidents, and he has asked the city’s mayor for extra space in the budget for three additional officers.
How Do Police Reduce the Risk of Accidents?
While police officers throughout Tennessee are tasked with maintaining order and enforcing a huge number of laws, some of their most important responsibilities involve keeping the state’s streets safe for everyone who uses them. There are many laws that govern the usage of public roadways, and it’s up to police officers to make sure that drivers, motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians follow these laws to keep themselves and others safe.
When police are enforcing traffic laws, they can help reduce the risk of accidents by:
- Preventing drivers from speeding or driving recklessly
In many cases, just the presence of police officers in their patrol cars is enough to reduce the risks of accidents. When drivers know that law enforcement officers are nearby, they’re less likely to engage in driving behaviors that will result in getting a citation, such as speeding, running red lights and stop signs, or not using a turn signal.
- Getting intoxicated and impaired drivers off the road
Traffic police are always on the lookout for drivers who pose serious threats to themselves and to others. They’re trained to spot drivers who are intoxicated and impaired. They’re also trained to quickly and accurately determine if drivers are unfit to drive via sobriety tests and other evaluations, and they can arrest drivers who are dangers to other motorists.
- Closing roads and rerouting traffic during dangerous situations
Whether the road is dangerous or impassable due to a flash flood, a downed tree, fallen electrical lines, or a serious accident, police will help drivers either navigate through the area, detour, or turn around. It’s important for drivers to be on the lookout for police during these situations and to always cooperate with them to protect their safety.
- Ticketing distracted drivers or drivers who fail to move over
Tennessee’s Move Over law and its laws against distracted driving are still relatively new, and some drivers may not be aware of them. In many cases, officers pull over drivers who engage in these behaviors to educate them about the laws. The more drivers that are aware of the dangers of failing to move over and texting while driving, the safer Tennessee’s roadways will be.
The Tennessee Highway Patrol, county sheriff’s offices, and local police departments play a huge role in reducing the number of accidents that occur every day on the state’s roadways. And when accidents do happen, emergency responders such as paramedics, EMTs, firefighters, and rescue workers help injured victims get the treatment they need.
Unfortunately, law enforcement officers can’t prevent all crashes. If you or someone you know was hurt in a crash caused by another driver’s negligence, you may be eligible to file a claim for compensation. To find out how the Clarksville auto accident lawyers at Matt Hardin Law can assist you, just dial (931) 274-7788 or complete a free online consultation form. We have more than two decades of experience building claims for injured victims, and we know what it takes to win.