February 09, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- Data shows fatal car accidents still a major problem in Tennessee
Article provided by MART G FENDLEY ATTORNEY AT LAW
Visit us at http://www.fendleylaw.com
There are few things worse than getting an unexpected phone call from the police letting you know that your loved one has been killed in a car accident. In nearly all cases, this news brings a sickening mix of shock, grief and anger -- both at the loved one's death and at the negligent driver who caused it to happen.
Thankfully, these phone calls have gotten much less frequent in Tennessee over the last few years. Since 2004, overall motor vehicle accidents have fallen by approximately 24 percent. What's more, fatal accidents involving large trucks have dropped by almost 40 percent since 2005 and fatal accidents involving all-terrain vehicles have gone down 50 percent since 2008.
Still, Tennessee's roads are not nearly as safe as they could be. According to preliminary data from the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security, 1,019 people died in traffic accidents in Tennessee in 2012. Though this is the third-lowest death toll since 1963, it does represent an 8.8 percent increase from 2011's all-time low of 937 motor vehicle deaths.
Fatal accident causes
Drunk driving continues to be labeled as the leading cause of fatal car accidents in Tennessee. In 2012, drunk driving is suggested as having been the cause of 246 traffic fatalities in Tennessee. This would represent nearly a quarter of all traffic deaths. The good news is that "drunk driving" fatalities fell by more than 31 percent between 2007 and 2011.
Distracted driving is also a significant problem, especially among young people. Nationwide, distracted driving is the leading cause of teen traffic fatalities. In Tennessee, teen traffic deaths increased by approximately 10 percent between 2011 and 2012.
Motorcycle accidents are the third major source of concern for Tennessee traffic safety officials. There were 138 motorcyclist deaths in Tennessee in 2012, a 21.1 percent increase from 2012. Over the last 14 years, motorcycle-related deaths in the state have more than tripled.
Tennessee wrongful death lawsuits
Clearly, more needs to be done to prevent fatal accidents in Tennessee. However, government officials can only do so much to achieve this goal. Ultimately, the burden is on motorists to drive in a way that keeps others on the road free from danger.
When drivers fail to uphold this duty and cause fatal accidents, the survivors of those killed have a right to hold them accountable. Tennessee law allows accident victims' families to pursue wrongful death claims in civil court. Although nothing can take away the pain the accident caused, wrongful death claims can help repair the damage by providing compensation for losses including medical bills, loss of the victim's income and the survivors' grief and loss.---
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