Tennessee driving statistics show room for improvement

Getting behind the wheel can be a dangerous game. Even when you’re a careful and defensive driver, there are other people on the road that can interfere with your safe driving and cause a crash.

Part of being a careful driver is the knowing the risks of getting behind the wheel.

In this post, we’ll look at some recent statistics on traffic motor vehicle fatalities. Here’s what we can learn from them.

Tennessee can be a dangerous place to drive.

In 2016, Alabama had the highest rate of traffic fatalities with 21.3 deaths per 100,000 people. In Georgia, the rate was 15.1 deaths per 100,000 people. In Tennessee, the rate was 15.7 deaths per 100,000 – a total of 1,041 lives lost.

But compared to the entire country, Tennessee’s statistics aren’t great. Nationwide, there were 11.6 deaths per 100,000.

Drug and alcohol involvement raises risks.

Drinking and driving is a significant problem for Tennessee drivers. In 2016, an estimated 561 drivers died in alcohol-related car crashes. This means roughly half the traffic fatalities in the State of Tennessee in 2016 were alcohol-related.

Drugs such as marijuana and opioids are also a factor in many fatal crashes. As we noted in a recent blog post, the percentage of fatally injured drivers with drugs in their system has gone up from 28 percent to 44 percent nationwide in the last decade.

Make sure to use your seat belt.

There are plenty of catchy slogans when it comes to seatbelt safety. But are Tennessee residents listening?

The statistics say, sometimes. People in all 50 states are using their seatbelt at least 70 percent of the time. Tennesseans buckle up 89% of the time; Georgians 97%; and Alabamians 92%.

You can’t control the drivers around you, but there are things you can do to prevent being another traffic fatality. Buckling your seatbelt and arranging for a sober driver are two things that can help you make it home safely.

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