Tennessee – Fatal Car Crash Statistics
In 2016, the state of Tennessee saw 1,039 people die in traffic accidents. This is an increase from 962 deaths the year before. Of those deaths in 2016, 762 were of people riding or driving in passenger vehicles such as cars and pickups (not including pedestrians, motorcyclists, etc.). 45.7 percent of people who died in passenger vehicles were not wearing safety restraints at the time of the crash. Teen drivers were involved 102 roadway fatalities that year, and senior drivers (age 65+) were involved in 233 traffic deaths.
Lower Rates of Roadway Death as Safety Improve
Tennessee roads have been growing statistically safer over the decades. The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security has been gathering data on traffic fatality rates since 1950. The fatality rate is calculated as the number of roadway deaths per 100 million Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT). In 1950, this rate was 8.28. This has dropped significantly over the decades as traffic and vehicle safety standards improve. The average for the state in the 1960s 5.85 mortalities per 100 million VMT. This lowered to 3.31 by 1980 and continues a general decrease over time.
Crash Mortality Rate by County
According to data collected between 2009 and 2015, the overall motor vehicle crash death rate is 15 traffic fatalities for every 100,000 people. Grundy County has, far and away, the highest crash mortality per population at rate 55 deaths per 100,000 people. Williamson County has the lowest with a motor vehicle mortality rate of 6.
Factors in Car Crash Mortality
The U.S. Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration recently released a detailed analysis of the state. They consider various factors involved in fatal car crashes. The following statistics was from Tennessee in 2015.
- Alcohol - Drinking played a role in 31 percent of traffic deaths with 26 percent of drivers involved in deadly crashes having blood alcohol content (BAC) at or above the legal limit of 0.08.
- Speeding - There was a total of 187 speeding-related fatalities with 30 of them being on urban and rural interstate highways.
- Safety Restraints - Of the people who died in car accidents in 2015, 49 percent were not wearing seat belts or safety restraints.
Fatalities by Crash Type
For years, The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has been collecting data on six various kinds of deadly wrecks per state. In Tennessee, accidents that involve leaving the roadway result in the most deaths, followed by single vehicle accidents. The following statistics are from accidents that occurred in 2015.
- Crashes involving roadway departure totaled 593 deaths.
- 522 people died in single vehicle crashes.
- Accidents involving a rollover lead to 258 fatalities.
- Speeding was a factor in 187 roadway deaths.
- 162 people died in intersection-related wreaks.
- Crashes involving a large truck resulted in 116 people dying.