“People are going too fast, not paying attention in their vehicles, too many electronic devices going on, not being seat belted in and basically just not paying attention to what they are doing when they are behind the wheel of a car,” a Sergeant in Bradley County Sheriff’s Office warned the public. It’s a warning that is now more important than ever since Tennessee traffic fatalities have risen in the past years.
2012 saw at least 1002 traffic fatalities, which is up from 937 in 2011. That’s sixty-five more lives lost and countless family members that will be mourning for years to come. To raise awareness of the increasing traffic deaths the Tennessee Department of Transportation began posting the number of fatalities along state highways. TDoT began posting the numbers because they “want to make [motorists] think about the way they drive, and we want to make them pay attention, and stop texting and driving and driving distracted.” TDoT will continue to post the numbers, but now they will only be posted on Fridays.
While the numbers serve as a reminder of the dangers of the road, we can’t lose sight that they aren’t simply numbers and statistics. Every number represents a life that has been lost and the immeasurable amount of heartbreak that follows a deadly accident doesn’t fit on a billboard.
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Source. News Channel 9, ‘http://www.newschannel9.com/news/top-stories/stories/tdot-fatality-messages-display-fridays-only-3672.shtml?wap=0,’ Jerry Askin, January 2, 2013.
Source. WDEF.com, ‘http://www.wdef.com/news/story/Tennessee-traffic-fatalities-increased-in-2012/G3dqYVc1tE6QX_F5a3PZnA.cspx?rss=3457,’ Megan Wise, January 2, 2013.