The data is in and it looks like 2015 was a deadly year for drivers in Tennessee and across the country. According to statistics from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, it is projected that there was a 4 percent increase in fatal accidents involving large trucks in 2015, as reported by Trucks with a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,000 pounds and over were considered large trucks. These numbers stand in stark contrast to the statistics for 2014, which actually saw a 1.8 percent decrease in fatal accidents from the prior year.

The 2015 increase in fatal truck accidents was consistent with the overall number of accident deaths for the year, which totaled 35,200, according to the Commercial Carrier Journal. This represents a 7.7 percent increase from 2014, which saw 32,675 fatalities. This makes 2015 the deadliest year on the nation’s roads since 2008.

Fatalities were significantly increased for pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists. In addition, certain areas of the country in particular seemed to experience higher increases than others. NHSTA Region 4, which includes Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and Florida, saw a 14 percent increase in traffic fatalities in 2014. Only one region saw a decrease in the number of accident deaths.

It is well documented that nearly all crashes are due to some type of human error, such as driving while distracted or while overly tired. However, experts speculate that cheaper gas and an improving economy have also led more drivers to be on the road, thus contributing to the increase in fatal accidents. This is evidenced by an increase in vehicle miles traveled of 3.5 percent in 2015 compared to the previous year.


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