Traffic crashes have the potential to lead to fatalities. With an increase in the number of people on the roads, that risk only grows. While there are some changes in vehicles that keep you safer, like better airbag designs or structural designs build to withstand heavy-weight collisions, those factors can't prevent every fatality.
According to Tennessee's traffic fatality report, there have been 526 traffic fatalities in 2017 as of mid July. In 2016, there were 544 at the same time. That is a minor drop in the number of fatalities.
Overall, two months of the year saw an increase over 2016's numbers. January had 85 fatalities, while January had 60 in 2016. April had 81 in 2017 compared to 78 in 2016. The good thing is that the trend in the state is a decline, with all other recorded months showing a decline so far.
The number of teen drivers involved in collisions has dropped since 2016. In 2016, there were 53 teen drivers involved in fatal accidents compared to 36 in 2017. What could account for the difference? It's possible there are better education programs in place or that those between 13 and 19 are spending more time learning before getting behind the wheel.
Unfortunately, one class of people is suffering in Tennessee: pedestrians. They made up 60 of the fatalities so far in 2017 while they made up 46 in the same time frame in 2016. This heightened number shows a need for increased pedestrian safety education.
No matter who you are, if you're hurt or lose a loved one in a collision, you're not alone. Don't think of yourself as a statistic; there is help for you and ways you can move forward after a crash.
Source: Tennessee Department of Safety & Homeland Security, "Tennessee Traffic Fatalities," accessed July 18, 2017