Fewer motorists took to Tennessee’s roadways in 2020, and while you might think this means there were also fewer traffic deaths, this was not the case. The number of people dying on Tennessee’s roads reached a six-year high in 2020, raising questions about why road fatalities are rising and what you might do to stay safe.
Per ABC News Channel 9, there were 1,139 traffic deaths in 2020 as of Dec. 8. In 2019, there were 1,136 traffic deaths within state lines, which was a five-year high at that time. Pedestrian deaths, too, are on the rise across Tennessee, with 155 such fatalities occurring statewide in 2020.
Possible contributing factors
Why are more people dying even though fewer people are on the roads? Some believe the fact that there are not as many cars on the roads is encouraging drivers to throw caution to the wind and take risks they otherwise would not. Others blame the increasing popularity of SUVs, as these larger, heavier vehicles tend to do more damage than smaller passenger vehicles.
When reviewing road deaths that took place in Tennessee in 2020, some trends become clear. The number of fatalities involving teenagers stayed relatively constant in comparison to those seen in 2019. The number of road deaths involving adults 65 and over actually declined during this time.
While controlling the actions of other drivers is impossible, there are certain steps you may want to take to lower your chances of involvement in a fatal crash. Avoid speeding and driving distracted and remain hypervigilant of the vehicles around you.