If you think you've seen more squad cars out on the roads and highways over the last few weeks, it isn’t your imagination. Indeed, the Tennessee Highway Patrol along with local police departments are currently taking part in a statewide crackdown as part of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and the state Highway Safety Office's Thumbs Down to Texting and Driving campaign.
When we get behind the wheel of our vehicles and head out on our familiar routes to work, school and all other points in-between, we take it for a given that the roads and highways are in good and safe working condition.
If you regularly travel on Knoxville roads, you’ve no doubt encountered hazardous drivers during your treks. While you can’t control the actions of others, you can refrain from partaking in unnecessarily risky behaviors yourself. Accordingly, it’s important for all drivers to be aware of the most common dangerous driving behaviors and take the right steps to avoid causing serious harm to themselves or others.
It's difficult to talk about red-light cameras without bringing up the issue of their constitutionality. Those who are opposed to red-light cameras argue that they violated a person's constitutional rights and even violate the privacy of citizens. Whether you agree with this argument or not, it's difficult to ignore the other side of the discussion: red-light cameras can save lives.
When the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released its annual highway fatality numbers last year, many were anticipating another year of declining figures consistent with a trend that has endured for roughly four decades. What they received, however, was a rather sobering wake-up call about the current state of road safety here in the U.S.
Given the near perfect weather that much of Tennessee has enjoyed over the last few weeks, a person could be forgiven for thinking that we are currently in the beginning of September. As wonderful as these temperate conditions have been, however, the reality is that we're now approaching the midway point of November, meaning colder weather is imminent.
There is no question that one of the single biggest dangers on the roads and highways here in the U.S. is distracted driving. Indeed, statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reveal that 431,000 people were injured and another 3,179 were killed in 2014 alone in motor vehicle accidents caused by distracted drivers.
According to data collected by the United States Department of Transportation, there were more than 2.5 million large commercial trucks operating on U.S. roadways in 2014 alone. That number has likely risen due to the increased need for goods across the nation in the two years following the release of this data.
Anyone who follows the news on a regular basis is well aware of the fact that millions of people across the nation, including thousands here in Tennessee, are currently battling some form of addiction to drugs -- both legal and illegal. By way of illustration, consider that statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that in 2014 alone 1,263 Tennesseans died from prescription opioid overdoses.