The year isn’t quite over, but there have already been at least 1,277 people killed on Tennessee roads in 2021. That makes this the deadliest year on record for traffic-related fatalities in the state since 2006.
With the holiday rush not yet over, this news has a lot of people at the Tennessee Department of Transportation justifiably concerned.
What’s causing the fatality rate to rise?
Theories abound, but there are no clear answers. There’s definitely more traffic on the road this year than there was last year, but that doesn’t fully explain the surge.
Officials are left searching for other explanations. Some of the possibilities include:
- Lack of practice: Given the conditions of 2020, many young drivers may have been delayed getting their driver’s license until this year. That means there could be an unusually high number of inexperienced drivers on the road right now.
- Aggressive driving: Some people simply don’t know how to handle their frustrations in a healthy way. When those people get behind the wheel of a car, their anger can translate into tailgating, lane-switching, speeding and other aggressive behaviors that can lead to accidents.
- Distracted driving: Distractions are everywhere. While smartphones get a lot of the blame, the reality is that drivers can lose their focus because they’re tired, listening to the radio, arguing with a passenger or the kids are acting up in the back seat.
Whatever the cause, the news is disheartening. A spokesperson for the Tennessee Department of Transportation said that “these numbers are concerning.” If you’ve been seriously injured or a loved one was killed in a crash, you need to hold the responsible party accountable. A personal injury or wrongful death claim may be the place to start.