Traffic Deaths Decline In 2013, Below 1,000 For Only 4th Time In 50 Years

Thursday, January 2, 2014

The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security Thursday announced preliminary figures indicating the state has recorded 988 traffic fatalities in 2013. That’s a 2.7 percent decrease in vehicular deaths on Tennessee roadways last year compared to 2012, when there were 1,015 traffic fatalities. The 2013 traffic fatality numbers include vehicular deaths reported by all Tennessee law enforcement agencies.

Last year’s preliminary number of 988 traffic-related deaths in Tennessee represents just the fourth time in 50 years vehicular fatalities have dropped below 1,000. In 2011, there were 937 traffic-related deaths on Tennessee roadways, representing the lowest figure since 1963. 

“The decline in the number of traffic fatalities in 2013 indicates that Tennessee is moving in the right direction," said Commissioner Bill Gibbons.  "Our focus on data driven deployment of state troopers to have the maximum impact on DUI and seat belt enforcement is paying off. We have much more work to do, though."

Impaired driving fatalities fell 26.7 percent from 2010 to 2013 in Tennessee. In 2013, preliminary statistics indicate 211 people were killed in alcohol-related crashes across the state (24.1 percent of the total). Tennessee state troopers increased their number of DUI arrests in 2013 to 6,428, a 90.4 percent increase over 2010. 

Additionally, Tennessee state troopers issued 74,277 seat belt and child restraint device citations in 2013, a 135.1 percent increase from the 31,599 citations issued in 2010.  In Tennessee, unrestrained motorists accounted for 48.9 percent (364) of vehicle occupants killed in 2013.

Other contributing factors in fatal crashes included speed and distracted driving, with 184 and 167 deaths, respectively. 

Of concern is the fact that pedestrian fatalities have increased by 25 percent over the past year from 68 in 2012 to 85 in 2013.

“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,” Colonel Tracy Trott said.  

Preliminary statistics indicate one person has died on Tennessee roadways in 2014, compared to eight at this time last year.

THP Statewide Performance Measures

Performance Measure

2012

2013

All Crashes Investigated

27,113

26,683

Injury Crashes Investigated

9,877

9,145

Alcohol Impaired Crashes (THP Only)

2,293

2,034

DUI Arrests

5,883

6,445

Total Citations

346,782

375,876

Seat Belt/CRD Citations

47,418

74,277

CMV Inspections

93,718

90,181

 



Pending Road/Lane Closures

There will be a lane shift at 1305 Dodson Ave. for installation of sidewalk ramps beginning Monday.   This project is scheduled to be completed on Friday.   Hours of operation each day are 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m.   Traffic will be shifted and lanes narrowed to allow for the work to be done; motorists are advised to use caution when approaching and negotiating the work zone. ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Bookseller Billy S. Arant, Jr. To Be Featured At Florida Antiquarian Book Fair

Billy S. Arant, Jr., owner of Billy S. Arant, Jr. Bookseller in Chattanooga, will be among booksellers from all over the United States participating the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair on  March 13-15, at The Coliseum in downtown St. Petersburg.  As part of the book fair’s theme of Modern Literature: the truth and beauty of fiction, Mr. Arant will feature a signed ... (click for more)

Appeals Court Rules Against WWTA In Lawsuit Brought By Apartment Complex Over $8 Monthly Charges To Units

The Tennessee Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of an apartment complex that sued the Hamilton County Water and Wastewater Authority (WWTA) over an $8 monthly charge per apartment unit for preparing private service laterals. The court overturned a granting of summary judgment in favor of WWTA by former Judge Jackie Bolton. The appeals court said American Heritage Apartments, ... (click for more)

Barrel Feared To Contain Hazardous Materials Safely Removed From Waterway At Short Tail Springs Road

A couple walking their dog on Sunday in the Highway 58 area called 911 reporting a strange barrel leaking a blue substance in the waterway. The barrel was later safely removed. The Highway 58 Volunteer Fire Department responded around 2:30 p.m. to 7900 Short Tail Springs Road. Fire officials found a 55-gallon barrel in the waterway, but there were no visible signs of a blue ... (click for more)

It's Time To Insure Tennessee - And Response

Tennessee has a problem.  What is the value of saving the lives of 1,000 Tennesseans each year? That is exactly what can be expected if 176,000 Tennesseans gain health insurance through Insure Tennessee. A New England Journal of Medicine study showed that expansion of Medicaid was associated with a 6% reduction in yearly mortality for people in the 34-65 age group. Statistically, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Boots, Idiots & Guns

As the month of February was born this morning, allow me to hurriedly share three leftovers that were still in last month’s basket: * * * A first-grade teacher had endured a long day and was helping her students bundle up for the trip home when one of the little boys asked for help getting on his boots. Soon she could see why. Even with her pulling, and him pushing, the ... (click for more)