Fatal Car Accidents in Tennessee
A glance at the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security’s Tennessee Traffic Fatality Rate reveals that there are far fewer deaths (per vehicle miles traveled) today as compared to the 1950s, ’60, ’70s and ’80s. This can be attributed to a variety of factors, including:
- Fewer alcohol-impaired driving fatalities (BAC = .08+)
- A dramatic increase is observed seat belt use
- The introduction of many new safety features in passenger cars, including air bags
Unfortunately, the trend reversed itself in 2016, as there were 1,036 fatalities on Tennessee roads, the highest number since 2008 and a substantial increase over the 962 in 2015 and 963 in 2014. And thus far in 2017, Tennessee is on pace to equal—and perhaps exceed—the number of traffic fatalities that occurred in 2016.
One possible reason for the reversal of this trend is that distracted driving crashes are on the rise in Nashville and the rest of Tennessee. Readers of this blog may remember an incident I wrote about last summer, when a 7-year-old boy, Hayes Springer, was killed in a tragic distracted driving crash in Brentwood. Accidents like the one that devastated the Springer family are the reason I am so passionate about raising awareness about the dangers of distracted driving.
Common Causes of Fatal Car Accidents in Nashville
In addition to distracted driving, other common causes of fatal car accidents include:
- Drunk or otherwise impaired driving
- Speeding excessively
Driving in Tennessee is More Dangerous than the Average State
In the 2016 Annual Report of the Tennessee Highway Safety Office, director Vic Donoho wrote: “The high number of traffic fatalities in Tennessee continues to be a significant concern, despite our efforts to create safer highways, increase public awareness, and support high-visibility enforcement of the state’s driving laws.”
If traffic fatality statistics are any indication, Donoho has good reason to remain concerned.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2015 there were 1.25 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled in Tennessee and 14.51 fatalities per 100,000 people. By comparison, the U.S. average was 1.13 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled that year, with 10.92 fatalities per 100,000 people. The “best state” that year posted numbers of 0.52 and 3.42, respectively.
In 2014, the statistics for Tennessee were even worse. That year there were 1.33 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled and 14.71 fatalities per 100,000 people. By comparison, the U.S. average was 1.08 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled, with 10.27 fatalities per 100,000 members of the population.
The Tennessee Highway Safety Office’s 2017 Highway Safety Plan
In response to the above statistics, the Tennessee Governor’s Highway Safety Office has set the following goals (among others) for reducing traffic fatalities in 2017:
– Decrease traffic fatalities by 1.55 percent from the 2014 calendar base year of 963 to 948.
– Decrease the percentage of unrestrained fatalities by 7.06 percent from the 2014 calendar base year of 354 to 329.
– Increase statewide observed seat belt use by two percent—from 86.23 percent to 88.23 percent by the end of 2017.
Avoid Becoming a Statistic: Wear Your Seat Belt
One of the best ways for you and your loved ones to reduce your risk of becoming a fatality statistic is to wear your seat belt(s).
But if a loved one has been involved in a fatal car accident in Nashville and you need an attorney to represent your family in a wrongful death lawsuit, you should speak with a reputable attorney as soon as possible.
Damages in a Wrongful Death Claim May Include:
Economic compensatory damages like:
- Medical bills
- Funeral expenses
Non-economic damages like
- Loss of consortium (love and affection)
- Pain and suffering
Our experienced lawyers will fight to get your family justice
At Raybin & Weissman, we understand that losing a loved one is an incredibly difficult experience. While no amount of money will ever replace your loved one, it’s important to ensure your family is cared for while you grieve and focus on recovery. Pursing compensation for your loss can be an effective way to provide for your family in the manner your loved one would have wanted.
Our caring Nashville fatal car accident lawyers will shoulder the burden of dealing with legal issues so you can focus on your family’s emotional well-being. We will handle all aspects of your case and provide the guidance you need to make the best legal decisions.
If you have lost a loved one in an accident you feel could have been prevented, contact the wrongful death lawyers at Raybin & Weissman for a free consultation today.