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Fatal accidents increase by 13 percent in Tennessee this year

There has been startling 13 percent increase in fatal car accidents in Tennessee this year. Over 331 people have died on Tennessee roads since January 1, and safety officials are concerned. Previous years have seen incremental declines in car accident rates, and many have been shocked by the sudden increase.

Law enforcement officers are devising new tactics to try to reduce fatalities on roads in the state. The state Department of Transportation has started posting signs along the highway that display fatality rates of the year to try to remind drivers of the importance of safety.

According to state officials, many of these crashes could have been prevented. Males aged 18 to 34 are the most likely to get into be injured in a car accident and are also more likely to choose not to wear a seatbelt or to drink and drive.

On one day last month, the police department focused on nothing but seat belt enforcement. Authorities were shocked when they pulled over 1,101 drivers in a single day for that one violation. These results show that seat belt use is not as pervasive as it should be. People who are not wearing seat belts at the time of a car accident have a higher likelihood of serious injuries.

Another area of concern is motorcycle riders. As we discussed in our previous post, motorcyclists have an increased risk of injury from an accident. There have been about 41 more fatalities so far this year than at the same time last year due to motorcycles and people not wearing seat belts.

Source: The Tennessean, "Death toll soars on Tennessee's roads," Brian Haas, May 9, 2012.

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