Tennessee residents rely on the state’s highway and road systems to get to work, run errands, visit loved ones, and take part in just about any other activity imaginable. The importance of driving in Tennessee is shown by how many people choose to get their driver’s licenses in this state. Out of an estimated 5.1 million adults, nearly 4.7 million residents had Tennessee driver’s licenses as of 2014, the most recent year the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security has reported on.
With so many drivers on Tennessee’s roads, there are unfortunately many risks for car accidents. In 2016, the state government reported there were a total of 149,675 car accidents in Tennessee. The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security road safety statistics reveal 2016 was the first year since 2007 where motor vehicle accidents actually declined. However, the road systems in Tennessee still experience an average of 410 vehicle collisions every day.
Which types of accidents make up these tragic statistics? The majority of Tennessean auto accidents, 111,152 in 2016, damaged the vehicle only. Another 37,822 crashes resulted in non-fatal injuries. While most of those injuries did not result in functional, mobility, or cognitive restrictions, more than 5,750 state residents received incapacitating injuries from automobile accidents in 2016. Worst of all, 701 Tennesseans were immediately killed in vehicular crashes last year. Another 50 people died soon after a crash from related injuries.
It is important to consider which elements contribute to these collisions. Factors that can make a vehicle accident in Tennessee more likely to occur include:
• Weather conditions. Occasional snow or ice drastically raises the risk of accidents. Rain, which is far more common in Tennessee, can cause hydroplaning or bring oil atop the road surface.
• Time of day. The 2004-2016 state statistics show that morning and evening rush hours are the most common times for accidents in Tennessee. Sunrise and sunset can impair drivers’ vision, and more vehicles on the road raises the risk for auto accidents.
• Geography. More populated regions like Memphis, Nashville, Knoxville, and Chattanooga can exceed 1,500 car accidents per day.
• Vehicle factors. While 2016 saw a decline in fatal accidents involving large trucks, 112 fatal truck accidents still occurred in Tennessee. Also, bus and motorcycle accidents are on the rise. In 2016 alone, there were 10 lethal bus crashes in Tennessee and 146 motorcycle accident fatalities. Even new vehicles and cars with regular upkeep can still be at risk from mechanical failures occurring or maintenance technicians’ mistakes.
Car crashes can cause injuries or death, emotional trauma, high repair bills, insurance premium hikes, and missed days of work. Many of these consequences, like ongoing medical care, may not be obvious until weeks have passed. If you, your spouse, or your family were in an accident anywhere in this state, do not allow yourself to be another statistic. Contact an experienced Tennessee personal injury attorney for a consultation today.