The Numbers Are In: Fatal Traffic Accidents Up in 2012 for Tennessee
January 31, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Overall, the number of U.S. traffic fatalities continues to plunge. In 2012, U.S. roadway deaths were at their lowest levels since 1949, long before the creation of America's interstate highway system. Since 2005 alone, traffic deaths have fallen by more than 25 percent. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, when measured in terms of deaths per mile driven, the rate of traffic fatalities has reached its lowest level since record keeping began in 1921.

However, while overall roadway safety may be improving, Tennessee bucked the nationwide trend in 2012. When comparing to 2011's numbers, Tennessee traffic deaths spiked by more than 7 percent in 2012. What's more, in the early days of 2013, this troubling trend appears to be continuing into the New Year.

Reasons for additional 70 plus deaths on Tennessee roads unclear

The Tennessee Department of Safety recorded 937 traffic fatalities in 2011. In 2012, the agency reported 1,013 roadway deaths.

Nationwide crackdowns on drunk driving, increased seatbelt use and improved vehicle design in compliance with stricter federal standards have all been credited as factors that may have contributed to the reduction in American highway deaths. So why the sudden increase in Tennessee fatalities?

No one knows for sure why traffic deaths increased in Tennessee in 2012. However, some theories suggest that a slowly improving economy is translating into more miles driven, meaning greater potential for car accidents. It could also be a matter of lost ground when it comes to seatbelt use and preventing drunk driving: during the holiday season of 2012, some Tennessee law enforcement organizations reported issuing more than twice as many seatbelt citations than they did during the 2011 holiday season, and drunk driving arrests were also up. However, these increases could have been due to heightened enforcement efforts rather than a spike in unsafe driving behaviors.

Whatever the reason for 2012's higher death toll in Tennessee, more than 1000 grieving families are left struggling with the aftermath.

Trend continues in early days of 2013

As of January 11, there have been 22 deaths reported on Tennessee roads in the New Year. Last year, there were 22 deaths during the entire month of January; with nearly three weeks left of reporting left, the first month of 2013 is set to continue the deadly trend that plagued Tennessee highways in 2012.

Nothing is harder than a death in the family. But, if you have lost a loved one to a car accident, remember that there are legal avenues that can allow you to secure compensation to help you through your time of need. Speak with a Tennessee car accident attorney to learn more.

Article provided by Soble, Poss & Moore PLLC
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