During 2011, 946 individuals lost their lives in motor vehicle accidents on Tennessee's Interstates, highways and roads. While this number may seem high, it was actually the lowest recorded in the state since 1963. To date, for 2012 the number of individuals killed in fatal car accidents in the state stands at 633.
As part of a new safety campaign, the Tennessee Department of Transportation began posting the number of individuals who have died in car accidents. Displaying messages such as "Don't text and drive" and "Use your seat belts" the billboards are part of a greater effort to raise public awareness of the actions and activities that often result in fatal traffic accidents.
Lately the dangers associated with using mobile devices while driving has gained national attention. The number of documented accidents attributable to drivers who were distracted by cell phones and texting has lead many states, including Tennessee, to enact bans related to the use of mobile devices while driving. In addition to drawing attention to the dangers associated with texting while driving, state officials also want to remind drivers of other longstanding dangerous activities.
Speeding and failing to wear a seat belt remain leading causes or contributing causes in many fatal car accidents. Many fatal traffic collisions involve drivers that are engaging in a combination of two or more dangerous activities like speeding and texting or drinking and driving while failing to wear a seat belt.
A the number on the billboards continues to increase, Tennessee drivers are reminded of the importance of abiding by traffic safety laws and further encouraged to do their part to prevent another family from suffering an unbearable loss.
Source: Knox News, "A Tally of Tragedy on Our Highways," Sam Venable, Aug. 28, 2012