In this day and age of social media and smartphone technology, people are able to post status updates and pictures from anywhere. Snapchat has taken the idea of posting to a new level by adding a filter that indicates how fast the user is going while they are taking a picture or a short video. Cellphone use while driving in Tennessee is highly discouraged, as talking and texting on cellphone while behind the wheel is proven to lead to deadly car accidents. In fact, Distraction.gov reported that texting while driving in the state is against the law. Some believe that Snapchat’s feature encourages motorists to speed and may increase reckless driving.
Although many states in the nation have implemented stricter laws and penalties against negligent motorists, the number of people killed in devastating car accidents continues to rise. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that motor traffic fatalities jumped from 32,675 deaths in 2014 to approximately 35,200 deaths in 2015, which is a 7.7 percent increase. In Tennessee alone, 1,349 people were killed in car collisions in 2014.
Motor vehicle accidents are listed as the number one cause of death for teens between the ages of 15 and 19 years old, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Researchers have studied many factors that contribute to these unfortunate teen fatalities, and have found that speed, seat belt use, distraction, inexperience and drunk driving are just some of the factors that may be involved in teen auto accidents. One study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, however, found a correlation between the number of passengers teen drivers have in the vehicle and their risk of being killed in an auto accident.
Although many people over the age of 65 are able to operate a vehicle safely, there are a number of senior drivers who are not fit to drive. Not only do these drivers threaten their own lives, but they threaten the lives of everyone else on the road. According to crash data provided by the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security, 958 people were killed on state roadways in 2015. Of those fatalities, a surprising 209 were senior drivers. While this number was lower than the previous two years, it still represents nearly 22 percent of all traffic accident fatalities that year.
Although setting speed limits has been a somewhat controversial topic in Tennessee and across the nation, many states have decided to increase the speed limit on highways and freeways. In Texas, for example, state officials increased the speed limit to 85 mph on one stretch of road in 2012. Despite these speed limit changes, some believe that increasing the speed limit could lead to a significant rise in motor vehicle accidents, injuries and deaths on state roadways. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, speed-related car accidents led to 10,219 deaths in 2012. A number of studies also support the fact that increases in speed have a direct link to vehicular accidents and deaths.
Whether you are driving through Knoxville, Tennessee or anywhere else across the country, there is the threat of becoming involved in a catastrophic car accident. In 2015, the rate of motor vehicle accident fatalities increased by more than 8 percent when compared to the number of car accident deaths in 2014, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. While you may not be able to control the negligent and reckless actions of other drivers, there are some things you can do to avoid a deadly car accident.
A number of teenage motorists display reckless driving behavior, which may be a result of their inexperience and inability to make quick decisions while behind the wheel. Many studies have shown that teenagers in Knox County and across the state are less likely to wear a seat belt and more likely to speed while driving, especially when there are other teenage passengers in the vehicle. Drug and alcohol use are also common factors in fatal car accidents involving teenage drivers.
Although Tennessee is not one of the 11 states in the nation that penalizes overly aggressive drivers, road rage poses a serious danger to motorists. These hostile drivers are involved in approximately 56 percent of motor vehicle accident deaths across the country, according to the Insurance Information Institute. When motorists become enraged, they often exhibit certain dangerous driving behaviors that increase the risk of tragic collisions, injuries and fatalities.
Although it only takes a few seconds for motor vehicle drivers and passengers in Tennessee to buckle up before hitting the road, many neglect to do so. Unfortunately, a surprising number of lives are lost as a result of this simple oversight. In fact, the Governor’s Highway Safety Office reported that the number of people who wore seat belts last year dropped to 86.6 percent. In an effort to increase the seat belt compliance rate to above 90 percent, the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office has launched a campaign encouraging everyone to buckle up every time they drive or ride in a vehicle.
A new form of driver distraction is sweeping the nation. A quick look on any social media site proves that many drivers in Tennessee and across the U.S. are doing more than just concentrating on the road while behind the wheel. A number of people, who are taking selfies and posting them on their social media pages, are putting the lives of innocent people at risk. Distraction.gov reported that 3,154 people were killed and 424,000 people were injured by distracted drivers in 2013. However, cellphone selfies may take deadly distractions to an entirely different level.