Tennessee is well known for many things: the Great Smoky Mountains, the Grand Ole Opry, Graceland, Davy Crockett and Dolly Parton, among others. Unfortunately, it is also notable for car crash fatalities.
In the Volunteer State, there are several reasons for devastating traffic accidents, which account for its high ranking in US. highway deaths.
The main causes of car crashes are careless driving practices, speeding, drunk driving and bad weather conditions. Florida has the top ranking as the state with the most car crash fatalities annually, but Tennessee is right behind. In 2016, 1,041 traffic fatalities were recorded in our state, the most in any one year since 2008.
Distractions and alcohol
In the state of Tennessee, distracted driving is a major contributor to car crashes; drivers are paying more attention to their cellphones and other mobile devices and not enough to traffic rules and the road ahead. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is another major contributor to fatal crashes in our state.
Age as a factor
Florida is a haven for retirees, so it stands to reason that elderly drivers cause many of the fatal accidents in that state. However, in many other states, including Tennessee, teen drivers are responsible for a large number of accidents. Teens tend to feel that they are invincible and mistakenly believe there will be no problem in driving after having enjoyed a few beers. Young people are also prone to texting and emailing, not realizing that a deadly crash can happen in the blink of an eye.
There is considerable traffic on Interstate 65 as well as on US 64 and US 43. In addition to Tennessee residents, we get our share of visitors coming to enjoy our major attractions, as well as tourists passing through. As a driver in our state, vigilance is always required. If you are headed to Dollywood or to a craft fair in the Smokies, you do not want to take a detour to the nearest hospital. Remember the high ranking Tennessee has in terms of highway fatalities, and always drive with safety top of mind.