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Tennessee Highway Patrol urges responsible driving

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Last year, Chester County residents experienced tragedies from car wrecks.
Just a month into 2021 and Chester County had more unfortunate accidents.
Though the world has been in a pandemic from 2020 to 2021 and driving overall has declined, car accidents have risen.
Tennessee Highway Patrol shared how the number of accidents in 2020, in comparison to the past, rose, and that trend continues to rise higher as we start 2021.
“In a year like 2020, where there were fewer vehicles on the road, one would expect that traffic fatalities would be down. Unfortunately, what we experienced was a staggering number of traffic fatalities. Seeing traffic fatalities increase is extremely heartbreaking,” said Lieutenant Bill Miller of THP. As of today, compared to this same time period in 2020, fatal crashes have increased. This is not acceptable.”
He encourages all drivers to be cautious and responsible so that the roads can be safer for everyone.
“We desperately need all drivers and motorists to change their thought processes and make smarter, wiser driving choices to help prevent additional highway deaths,” he said. “We all must work together to stop this from trending upwards.”
He explained the top causes from 2020’s fatal crashes were “unrestrained occupants, failure to keep in proper lane, alcohol and drug use, speeding, failure to yield right of way, reckless or careless drivers and distracted drivers.”
Miller stated THP and other law enforcement are limited to what they can do to keep the roads safe; the rest of the responsibility falls upon the drivers and their passengers.
“Drivers are responsible for how they drive. If you have unsafe driving habits, then we need you to be responsible and change those habits. We need your help because law enforcement cannot do this alone,” he said. “It is extremely important to us that every driver and occupant be a partner for traffic safety. Each driver has the power to make safe choices and to be a positive influence on those around them.”
Miller listed specific things everyone can do that would decrease not only wreck fatalities but wrecks in general.
“We ask motorists to make safe choices that include buckling their seat belt and not placing their vehicles in drive until all occupants are also buckled up. We also need drivers to slow down and drive the speed limit. Tennessee is a hands-free state, so we also need drivers to leave their phones alone and drive. When a driver is texting and driving, they have many similarities as an impaired driver. This leads us to impaired driving. Never drive intoxicated. There are safe ride options available that would eliminate the risk of an alcohol-related traffic death.”
One can view crash data in Tennessee at https://www.tn.gov/safety/stats/crashdata.html. THP is currently compiling all the data on 2020 crashes.

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