New report shows TN traffic fatalities surged in last few years, despite pandemic and lockdowns

A recent report released by TRIP, a national transportation research nonprofit details the rise in Tennessee’s traffic fatalities.

From 2019 to 2021, the number of roadway deaths in the Volunteer State have surged 16% and the national average has risen by 19%. This is despite the pandemic induced drop in vehicle travel. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that the increase in fatalities can be attributed to increased risks taken by drivers since the onset of the pandemic.

The NHTSA also found that the number of people killed in police-reported alcohol involved crashes rose by 9% from 2019 to 2020 and 5% from 2020 to 2021.

Sergeant Cecil Harvey with the Tennessee Highway Patrol said summer can be an especially dangerous time to get behind the wheel, due to travel for vacations and people being eager to get to their destination.

“So, you have more people that are traveling. So, if you take that into play, if you are traveling here and you get into city centers where you meet rush hour or an accident has occurred and traffic starts backing up, you know, they have an eight hour, nine hour trip, etc. That’s where tensions starts going up. Because now, that delays you even more so once traffic clears out. Everyone wants to get to where they’re going. So the speeds rise.” said Harvey

To see the U.S. Department of Transportation’s newest safety strategy to combat the increase in traffic fatalities click here.

Categories: Local News, Regional News