Just a few weeks ago we posted on the fact that law enforcement in Tennessee was going to be cracking down on risky driving behaviors in the hopes of combating the traffic fatality toll that has been on the increase so far this year. At that time, Kendell Poole, director of the Governor's Highway Safety Office in Nashville reported that there had already been 238 fatal motor vehicle accidents in the state. Now, just a few short weeks later, that total number has already climbed over 300.
In response to this drastic increase, aside from extra enforcement, Tennessee motorists may have also noticed electronic message boards along the interstates showing the current total number of people who have died in a motor vehicle accident so far this year. Last Friday the sign reported the number was 317. By Monday it was already at 331.
When looking at what is causing this increase -- after so many years of decreases -- Poole points to the fact that the weather turned warmer earlier this year, which means more people are out and about. Specifically, more people are also out on their motorcycles.
Statistically speaking, motorcyclists and drivers not wearing seat belts have accounted for 41 percent more deaths so far for this year than in 2011.
Poole also said that his office is really concentrated on getting the message of safe driving to men between the ages of 18 and 34. He said this demographic is more likely to not wear a seat belt and to drink and drive, which greatly increases the risk of getting into an accident.