Traffic Death Toll Rises In Tennessee

The number of people killed on Tennessee’s roads this year has already surpassed last year’s total with more than two months to go in 2012. Many drivers have noticed the fatality total as it ticks upward on electronic signs operated by the Tennessee Department of Transportation. As of Monday morning, 823 people have been killed in Tennessee car crashes this year, and if you thought that number sounded high, it is. The state has already surpassed last year’s number of roadway deaths by 33. It is a nearly 10 percent increase from a year ago and amounts to about 81 deaths per month. At the current pace, the state will record nearly 1,000 deaths by Jan. 1. TDOT joined the Department of Safety in posting the fatality numbers on signs in April when they noticed a surge in traffic deaths. At that time, the crash total was 288. In the hundreds of fatal Tennessee crashes this year, 73 percent of drivers were not wearing seat belts and 14 percent of wrecks involved a motorcycle. Also, 17 percent of the crashes involved drivers ages 65 and over and 10 percent involved teens.