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Tennessee Traffic Fatalities Down in 2013, Blount County Alcohol Related Accidents Down According to Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security Data

Tennesse and Blount county roads are well travelled, and not everyone drives safely or obeys the rules. With so many cars on the road, car accidents are inevitable and regularly reported in the media. If you have been injured or lost a loved one due the the negligent driving of another, you should speak with a local car accident attorney.

Tennessee Traffic Fatalities are Down
The good news is that car accident fatalities in Tennessee are down. The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security (“TDOSHS “) recently release its preliminary traffic crash data and statistics report. According to the figures, accident fatalities in Tennessee had a more than 2 percent decrease, falling from 1,015 in 2012 to 988 in 2013. This is the fourth time in 50 years that vehicular fatalities were below 1,000. The report is an annual preliminary report that is released every January outlining state and county traffic fatalities, injuries, and property damage. It even breaks down contributing factors like age, alcohol, and deer. However, it was not all good news as pedestrian fatalities have increased by 25 percent over the past year from 68 in 2012 to 85 in 2013.

In the TDOSHS press release about the data, Commissioner Bill Gibbons stated, “The decline in the number of traffic fatalities in 2013 indicates that Tennessee is moving in the right direction.” Gibbons claims that state troopers who are being deployed as a direct result of the most recent data available allows for maximum impact on enforcing laws relating to DUI and seat belt enforcement. Gibbons believes there is still a lot of work left to complete, however. The press release noted that fatalities related to impaired driving decreased by 26.6% from 2010 to 2013 while state troopers increased the number of DUI arrests and seat belt citations.

Department of Safety Lieutenant Colonel Tracy Trott, noting a future use of data analytics, also claimed, “In 2014, we will employ a predictive analytics model (C.R.A.S.H.) to look even more closely at where traffic crashes are most likely to occur and deploy our resources, both in educational efforts and enforcement. We hope that this new tool will help reduce serious injury and fatal crashes across the state.” Predictive analytics is a technique that utilizes field data, statistics, and modelling techniques to train computer modelling systems to make forecasts about future events. The forecast models can be used to optimize deployment of resources.

Blount County Statistics
The preliminary release had good news for Blount county as well. The Maryville Dailytimes reported on the data stating Blount County traffic fatalities remained at 25 in 2013, the same amount that was recorded in 2012. We looked at the data release and found alcohol related accidents have been on a downward trend since 2004 with a significant drop last year of only 65 alcohol related accidents.

To help reduce impaired driving, Blount County police departments have been working in conjunction with other police departments to deploy wide area saturation patrols (WASPs). A saturation patrol is a law enforcement tactic where agencies focus an overwhelming force in a limited area. The tactic is largely used in check points to create the perception of an omnipresence giving the public the impression that traffic violations are a serious crime.

While the TDOSHS’ preliminary figures look promising, accidents still happen. Aggressive, impaired, and unsafe drivers are still on the road. When the reckless or negligent behavior of a driver causes an accident that injures another, the victim is entitled to be recover for their injuries. Victims of car wrecks need an experienced car accident lawyer to receive the compensation they deserve.

If you have been involved in an accident due to the negligent or reckless driving of another, contact Hartsoe Law Firm, P.C. at (865) 524-5657.

Additional Resources:
Statistics and Research: Crash Data, Jan. 4, 2013, Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security

Alcohol Impaired Traffic Crashes in Tennessee, Jan. 4, 2013, Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security

More Blog Entries:
Knoxville Sheriff’s Office Participates in Texting While Driving Campaign, Sep. 18, 2013, Knoxville News Sentinel

Tennessee Traffic Safety: Are Your Aggressive Driving Habits Increasing Your Risk for an Accident?, Jan. 31, 2012, Tennessee Code

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