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Are Tennessee Drivers Reckless?

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Earlier this month, a car traveling on Antioch Pike blew through a red light and crashed into a semi-truck, which then crashed into three other cars and injured four people while trying to avoid the reckless driving accident. The driver that caused the crash was believed to have been involved in a separate hit-and-run accident just minutes before.

Unfortunately, residents in Tennessee are familiar with the devastating effects of car accidents caused by reckless driving. There have been more than 3.5 million car accidents in Tennessee since 2004, which claimed the lives of at least 12,072 people and even more injuries.

While other states have managed to reduce the number of car crashes over the years, the number of accidents in Tennessee seems to be increasing. According to the Tennessee Department of Safety & Homeland Security (TDSHS), 673 people were killed in fatal car crashes in 2014. In 2015, at least 766 people died.


Data from the TDSHS shows the most common factors that contribute to car accidents in Tennessee include the following:

  • Erratic driving
  • Failure to stay in the proper lane
  • Failure to yield the right-of-way
  • Distracted driving
  • Speeding

In Tennessee, reckless driving is defined as the “willful and wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.” While many may think reckless driving often occurs in younger, male drivers, data shows it is actually prevalent among a range of demographics. More than 3,000 car accidents in Tennessee were attributed to reckless driving in 2013.

While the overall number of accidents caused by reckless driving has decreased over the past few years, this number is still too high, considering the preventable nature of these accidents. Unfortunately, reckless driving in Tennessee is nothing more than a ticket, as it is a misdemeanor offense. However, maybe the penalties for endangering the lives of other drivers should be more severe.

The Law Office of Stanley A. Davis is a personal injury law firm in Nashville that fights to help those injured in accidents caused by reckless driving.

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 12:34-35


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