Car Accident Statistics All Tennessee Drivers Should Know

Posted in Car Accident on February 15, 2018

Every time you get behind the wheel of your car, truck, or SUV, you know there are risks involved. It’s common to see accidents during your daily commute to and from work, and you read about crashes or see them on the news. You may have even been involved in wrecks in the past.

But even when you follow all traffic laws and do your best to drive as safely as possible, you can become an accident statistic—especially when other drivers don’t do their part to keep Tennessee’s roadways safe.

Accidents are an unfortunate reality for thousands of drivers across the country every day, and they can range from minor fender benders and parking lot scrapes to serious rollovers and head-on collisions. At Matt Hardin Law, our Nashville car accident lawyers know that no two accidents are like, and it’s our goal to help victims get the legal representation they deserve after crashes that weren’t their fault.

If you or someone you love was hurt in an auto accident that was caused by a negligent driver, we may be able to help you get compensation for your medical bills and lost wages. Call our office today to find out how we can help. Just dial (615) 200-1111 or complete a free online contact form.

Separate the Facts from Fiction with This Important Data

In 2015, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration compiled data concerning all traffic accidents in the U.S., and its findings were eye-opening. A few major highlights from the report include:

  • Accident-related fatalities increased by 7.2 percent in 2015 compared to 2014 – 32,744 people were killed in automobile crashes in 2014 in the U.S. That number rose to 35,092 in 2015—a 7.2 percent increase. That’s the largest percentage increase in nearly 50 years. The largest increase in fatal accidents was observed in SUV occupants, with an increase of 382 compared to 2014. Fatalities reported among van occupants increased by 95, while passenger vehicles and pickup trucks increased by 681 and 200, respectively.
  • Almost all types of crashes involved more fatalities – The significant increase in the number of fatal accidents wasn’t limited to just a single type of crash or population. It included all passenger vehicle occupants, large truck passengers, pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcyclists, people involved in alcohol-related crashes, men and women, and crashes that occur both during the daytime and at night. The change from 2014 to 2015 is unusual, as there had been a downward trend in the number of traffic fatalities during the past decade.
  • The number of teen driving crashes increased by 10 percent – Teen drivers are statistically the most at-risk group on U.S. roadways, and their risks increased in 2015, as the NHTSA found that the number of drivers aged 16 to 20 who were involved in fatal traffic accidents increased by 10 percent. Because of the risks that teen drivers already face, it’s vital for parents to educate their children about the common dangers that affect young drivers, including texting while driving, speeding, driving while impaired, and driving with multiple passengers.

Unfortunately, data collected by the National Safety Council shows that the increase in traffic fatalities in 2015 wasn’t a fluke. Motor vehicle deaths increased yet again in 2016 by six percent, with 40,200 motor vehicle accident fatalities reported.

In Tennessee, fatal accidents increased from 961 in 2015 to 1,042 in 2016. The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security maintains records concerning all types of crashes throughout the state, and important facts related to those accidents include:

  • The number of distracted driving crashes in TN increased significantly between 2008 and 2012 – The ubiquity of smartphones has made many aspects of our lives easier, as it’s now more convenient than ever to stay in touch with friends, get directions, respond to emails, or shop online. But smartphone usage has come at a price—a distracted driving epidemic. In 2008, 10,822 accidents were linked to distracted driving. By 2012, that number had grown to 20,168. And the number has continued to grow, increasing to more than 24,000 in both 2016 and 2017.
  • Alcohol-related accidents are down, but still significant in TN – Increased enforcement, stricter DUI laws, and better driver education seem to have done the trick for drivers in the Volunteer State, as the number of known alcohol-related traffic accidents have decreased during the past decade. The report indicates that there were nearly 8,000 alcohol-related crashes in the state in 2007 and just over 6,000 in 2017. That’s a decrease of around 25 percent. In addition, the number of alcohol-related accidents has decreased every year since 2012, when it was reported at 7,368.
  • Nearly 15,000 drivers aged 16-17 were involved in traffic accidents in 2017 in TN – Newly licensed drivers have by far the biggest risk of being involved in accidents out of any age group. The most dangerous age range for drivers is 16-17, and drivers ages 16 to 20 were involved in nearly 46,000 accidents during 2017. In comparison, the next closest group includes drivers ages 25 to 29, who were involved in nearly 42,000 crashes during the same time period.

The Tennessee Highway Safety Office also maintains records of accident-related statistics, and the organization is dedicated to reducing the number of crashes on the state’s highways and interstates while making them safer for everyone. A few important statistics provided by the THSO include:

  • More than 50-percent of people killed in TN auto accidents weren’t wearing seat belts – Seat belts are the most important safety features in every vehicle. Air bags and other advanced safety features can reduce the impact of crashes and help prevent them from occurring, but nothing is as effective at reducing injuries and the chance of fatalities as seat belts. Buckle up every time you drive or ride in a vehicle, regardless of how far you’re traveling, how much traffic you’ll encounter, or the time of day. Setting a good example can also help your children learn good habits that will carry on for the rest of their lives.
  • Child restraints are only effective if installed properly and fitted correctly – Tennessee has several child restraint laws and recommendations regarding the use of car seats, booster seats, and where children are allowed to sit inside vehicles. The THSO’s website includes a search function that makes it easy for parents to determine the right type of restraint system or seats that their children should use given their ages, weight, and height. In addition, the website also includes an interactive map to help parents find car seat fitting stations where law enforcement officers can help them properly install car seats inside their vehicles.

If you live in Nashville, it’s especially important to be cautious and alert on the city’s roadways, especially with growing traffic volumes and a rapidly increasing population. Davidson County has the highest crash rate rank of any county in the state. It also ranks highest in injury crashes, speeding crashes, young driver crashes (ages 15 to 24), and senior crashes (ages 65 and over) in Tennessee.

The Nashville car accident lawyers at Matt Hardin Law know how helpless auto accident victims can feel, and we’re here to help if you or someone you love was hurt because someone else was negligent behind the wheel. The sooner you contact us, the better your chances of getting maximum compensation. Don’t delay—get in touch with our experienced legal team today.