Despite people traveling less during 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, traffic fatalities increased in Tennessee. The year saw 1,217 deaths on the state’s roads compared to 1,136 in 2019, 1,040 in 2018, and 1,024 in 2017.
The trend appears to be continuing in 2021, as there have already been 650 traffic fatalities in 2021 compared to 509 through the same timeframe in 2020. What’s the cause of the increase? A report by WATE cites a spokesperson for the Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP), who says that distracted driving, driving under the influence, and speeding all play major roles in the increase in traffic fatalities.
Drivers became accustomed to fewer vehicles being on the road during the COVID-19 shutdowns, which meant that many developed bad habits behind the wheel. Unfortunately, many of those habits have continued even as workplaces have begun reopening and drivers have restarted their daily commutes.
In response, the THP has stepped up its enforcement of speed limits, with more troopers positioned on highways and interstates to catch drivers who put themselves and others at risk by speeding. Although drunk driving and distracted driving are both extremely dangerous, speeding remains the most common cause of injury-causing and fatal crashes nationwide.
You can reduce your risks by always being aware of the speed limit of the road you’re on and never exceeding it. If everyone around you is speeding, move to the far-right lane and allow faster traffic to pass. And be sure to slow down in work zones, as not only is it more dangerous to speed through them, but fines are significantly increased as well.
At Ponce Law, our Nashville auto accident lawyers are ready to help anyone hurt by negligent and speeding drivers throughout Middle TN. If you or someone you love is injured by a bad driver, we want to help. Contact us today for a free consultation.