Tennessee DOT launches traffic safety public awareness campaign

Jan. 27, 2021

In 2020, fatalities increased nearly 7%, while traffic was down approximately 13% in Tennessee

The Tennessee DOT (TDOT) and its partners at the state's Department of Safety and Homeland Security are teaming up to raise public awareness of the alarming fatality crash rate on Tennessee’s roadways.

TDOT expressed concern over the number of deadly crashes being at an all-time high in a year where traffic was at an all-time low.

“In 2020, fatalities increased nearly 7%, while traffic was down approximately 13% in Tennessee,” TDOT Commissioner Clay Bright said in a statement. “This number is staggering and it’s not OK. We want motorists to take notice and work with us in making a change.”

“Last year, we saw 1,211 fatalities on state highways,” Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security Commissioner Jeff Long said in a statement. “The loss of life is never easy, especially when it could have been avoided. We encourage the public to make safe choices when traveling.” 

Of the 1,211 fatalities in Tennessee in 2020, 396 were unrestrained; that is 32% more than 2019. Deadly crashes were up in urban and rural areas of the state. Shelby County leads the way with a total of 244 roadway fatalities in 2020; that’s 20% of the total deaths.

Throughout this week on social media, TDOT will be posting information to raise awareness of the importance of driving safe. In addition to social media, traffic safety messages are being displayed on TDOT’s overheard Dynamic Message Signs on interstates in Memphis, Nashville, Chattanooga, and Knoxville.

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SOURCE: Tennessee DOT