Tennessee has been experiencing a frightening surge in traffic fatalities over the last year — but help is on the way in the form of millions of dollars in federal grants that are earmarked toward safety efforts.
According to the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security, the number of traffic fatalities in the first four months of 2019 and 2020 were very similar. In 2021, however, fatalities associated with wrecks jumped by nearly 24%.
What’s causing the rise in traffic fatalities?
Sadly enough, the authorities say that there are just four main things that are behind the vast majority of fatal car wrecks: Speeding, drunk drivers, unrestrained drivers and passengers and the failure of drivers to maintain their lanes. In the words of Lt. Bill Miller of the Tennessee Highway Patrol, “…every single one of those factors is 100% preventable.”
What’s being done to help reverse the trend?
The Tennessee Highway Safety Office is distributing the money allocated from 370 federal grants for the 2022-2023 federal fiscal year. These allocations will fund a variety of programs centered on highway safety. Much of the money will go to the state’s law enforcement and various projects meant to improve highway safety.
Some of the programs the money will support include police traffic services, more aggressive detection of drunk drivers, driver education programs, child passenger safety education and education for teen drivers.
While the authorities hope to soon reverse the deadly trend, every driver in the state needs to be aware that the roads are very dangerous. If you do end up seriously injured in a wreck, take immediate steps to protect your legal interests.