With the main summer months approaching fast, more cars will be hitting the roads. Whether you’re on the road for your daily commute, setting out for an anticipated vacation destination, embarking on an epic road trip, or just walking alongside it as a pedestrian, the increased traffic only makes the roads more dangerous.
According to a 2014 report from the National Complete Streets Coalition (NCSC), Tennessee ranked as the 11th most dangerous state for pedestrians with nearly 800 fatalities across the state. On top of that, two Tennessee cities ranked in the top 20 most dangerous large cities in the U.S. for pedestrians. According to the NCSC study conducted from 2003-2012, there were 239 pedestrian fatalities among 2,007 total traffic fatalities in #5 ranked Memphis, TN, and 210 pedestrian fatalities among 2,270 total fatalities in #15 ranked Nashville, TN.
The numbers only get worse when you factor in the rest of the state. In a study from the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security, there were nearly 1,600 pedestrians involved in traffic crashes in 2015. That number marked a new high for the state since the annual data was first collected in 2005. There have already been 378 pedestrians involved in traffic crashes in 2016, and with the months with the most reported accidents still to come, there is a very real chance 2015’s number could be surpassed.
Despite the dangers posed to pedestrians in Tennessee, the Memphis and Nashville numbers showed just how dangerous the roads can be for the cars that drive along them. According to an ongoing study from the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security, there have been over 3.4 million traffic crashes since the study started in 2006. There were nearly 370,000 crashes in 2015 alone, setting the record since the study began. Causes are broken down into 38 different categories. Not including ‘No Contributing Actions’ and ‘Other,’ here are the top causes of traffic crashes in Tennessee from 2015:
- Following Improperly: 36,640 traffic crashes
- Failure to Yield Right of Way: 28,510 traffic crashes
- Failure to Keep in Lane/Running off the Road: 21,796 traffic crashes
- Inattentive Driver: 13,475 traffic crashes
- Careless or Erratic Driving: 10,147 traffic crashes
- Speeding: 6,786 traffic crashes
- Improper Lane Changing: 6,193 traffic crashes
While the increased speeds on highways and interstates may increase the danger of crashes, it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise to hear that the vast majority of these accidents occurred within major city limits. Over 72% of all traffic crashes in Tennessee were reported by the City Police Departments, compared to the less than 15% reported by the Tennessee Highway Patrol. The most dangerous counties/cities from 2015 as reported by the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security are:
- Memphis (Shelby County): 31,510 traffic crashes
- Nashville (Davidson County): 30,823 traffic crashes
- Chattanooga (Hamilton County): 11,257 traffic crashes
- Knoxville (Knox County): 9,177 traffic crashes
- Murfreesboro (Rutherford County): 7,455 traffic crashes
If you or a loved one has been involved in a traffic crash in Tennessee, don’t hesitate to reach out to our attorneys at Kinnard, Clayton & Beveridge. We have the skill, experience, and resources to handle any car or truck accident case. Contact us today for your free consultation.