With car accidents among the leading causes of death in the United States, driving safety has become increasingly important. An automobile accident can completely change the lives of those involved, whether they were responsible or not. Tennessee, in particular, has been cracking down on the enforcement of driving laws as they strive to reduce the number of traffic fatalities.

For the last 50 years, Tennessee roads have had over 1000 people die every year but four. 2013 was one of the four years to break this trend with just 988 deaths from vehicular collisions. As officials continue to move toward the goal of fewer fatalities, the enforcement of seat belt laws and an increase in DUI arrests have proven to be highly effective. The number of arrests made for driving under the influence has almost doubled since 2010, while the amount of deaths from accidents involving a drunk driver has gone down by almost 30%.

The concentrated effort to lower the amount of intoxicated drivers on the road is simply one way authorities have made driving safer. Another aspect state troopers have been focusing on is the enforcement of seat belt and child restraint use. In 2013, over 70,000 citations for unrestrained motorists were issued. Unfortunately, the number of deaths involving pedestrians has increased, but officials are now seeking ways to decrease this statistic as well.

Driving under the influence is a major cause of car crashes and fatalities not just in Tennessee, but also across the U.S. Not following road safety laws, such as proper seat belt use, also increases the likelihood of serious injury in an automobile accident. However, collisions can sometimes be unavoidable. If someone is involved in an accident and suffers injury or even death, that individual or surviving relatives may have the right to file civil claims for negligent driving or wrongful death.

Source: WBIR-TV, 988 people died on Tennessee roads in 2013, No author, Jan. 2, 2014