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

 



Chattanooga Police Department Increases Traffic Enforcement Efforts

Chattanooga Police are working to change driver behavior and address traffic violations throughout the city. Increased enforcement efforts by CPD’s Traffic Unit addressed infractions on I-75, I-24, Highway 153, and Highway 27 on Wednesday.  The increased enforcement is conducted in areas determined by data models generated through CPD’s Crime Analysis Unit and complaints ... (click for more)

Street Closures And Spectator Information For Erlanger Chattanooga Marathon

The Chattanooga Department of Transportation welcomes the Erlanger Chattanooga Marathon presented by BlueCross BlueShield the weekend of March 3-5.   Public activities start Friday at 3 p.m. with the expo at First Tennessee Pavilion. Saturday, March 4, will host the Classic 150 5k and Kid’s 1 Mile Fun Run.  The 5K will start at 9 a.m. and Fun Run at 11 a.m.  Sunday, ... (click for more)

City Police Officer Seriously Injured In Crash On Dodson Avenue

A Chattanooga Police officer was seriously injured in a crash on Dodson Avenue on Friday afternoon.   Police said the injuries to Sean Lynch, 38, are not life-threatening.   Police responded to a traffic crash at 1400 Dodson Ave.   The crash involved a silver Ford 350 van,  (Vehicle #1) a white Ford Crown Victoria police cruiser driven by Officer ... (click for more)

Lawsuit Charges That Georgia Law Firm Stole One Of The Woodmore Elementary Cases From Chattanooga Attorneys

A Circuit Court lawsuit charges that one of the Woodmore Elementary bus wreck cases was stolen from a Chattanooga law firm by Georgia attorneys just shortly after the Nov. 21 tragic crash that killed six students and injured others. It is illegal in Tennessee for attorneys to contact victims of a tragedy for 30 days after the incident. The lawsuit brought by Carl Lewis, father ... (click for more)

CVB Should Share Financials With The Home Folks

The recent debate over the Convention and Visitor's Bureau's funding and budget has gotten ugly. A Hamilton County commissioner has asked questions and made comments about the CVB. The director of the CVB has organized a campaign to dismiss the commissioner's questions and comments. The children on the playground are choosing sides and nothing useful seems to be happening. It's ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Haggling Must Stop

Far be it for me to suggest the Hamilton County Commission and the School Board need to spend more time at recess but it was obvious this week the two groups need to work at being better friends. We have nine county commissioners and just as many corresponding school board members to work together for the betterment of one entity – Hamilton County. Everybody who thinks that is happening ... (click for more)