March 17th marks the annual St. Patrick's Day celebration. This holiday, rich with Irish tradition, has morphed into one of the year's biggest days for alcohol consumption. Although many partake in their St. Patrick's Day celebrations responsibly, there are some that choose to imbibe and drive - a potentially deadly combination.
The National Safety Council has released its annual report on road deaths from the previous year. As we look back on 2016, there were more fatal accidents across the entire US than in 2015. That trend is repeated in Tennessee, where we lost 1,042 lives on the road this year. It is an increase of 81 more deaths than in 2015, or an 8 percent rise. The national average was a 6 percent increase.
Weather is a contributing factor to many car accidents. Over 1 million accidents are attributed to weather conditions, and these car crashes are often highest in the winter months. A recent piece by AAA digs into these statistics and finds that weather related accidents translate to 425,000 injuries and 5,100 fatalities annually.
It is a tragic story that continues to unfold. A school bus full of our community's youth heading home after a full day of school. 37 children were riding the bus as it sped through a narrow two-lane roadway before the driver lost control and struck a tree. 31 of these children were taken to the hospital. Six were killed due to the injuries they suffered in this crash.
Have you ever found yourself driving or walking down the road and look over at another driver, only to realize that the driver is on his or her smartphone? Those who have this moment and experience frustration may soon have a path to not only vent these frustrations, but to make a difference.
We've all been there - driving down the road only to look over at the driver next to you to see a young person looking at his or her phone, chatting with friends, jamming out to music or otherwise ignoring the road ahead. We may shake our heads and have a "when I was his/her age" moment. This thought could lead to a more concerning question: are teen drivers getting worse?
Getting into a car wreck is always a stressful event, but an accident involving a commercial truck can be more than stressful - it can be catastrophic. The reason is based on simple physics. One vehicle weighs significantly more than the other, takes longer to stop and has more momentum when crashing into another vehicle. Passengers within the considerably smaller car can suffer from serious injuries when these two vehicles collide.
Even when motorcycle riders wear helmets, they remain vulnerable. Motorists are protected by the bodies of cars that are specially designed to absorb the impact of car accidents while motorcyclists are exposed to injuries that can be catastrophic. When a group of helmet-wearing motorcyclists were recently involved in a Tennessee crash, two lost their lives and six suffered injuries.
Since 1977, drivers in Tennessee have been legally required to have proof of liability insurance. According to the legislation, drivers had to be insured for specified minimum levels of liability, varying from $15,000 for property damage to $50,000 in the case of multiple deaths or injuries. Unfortunately, the fine a driver can face for driving without insurance is currently only $100. The relatively small fine has led to a situation in which 23 percent of the Tennessee driver population carries no liability insurance. Lawmakers hope that proposed changes to legislation will decrease car accident involvement by uninsured drivers.
A tragic accident left one person dead and a good Samaritan injured. The Tennessee car wreck happened on a recent Thursday night on March 12 at approximately 9:45 p.m. The circumstances surrounding the accident can only be described as tragic.