Can Traffic Congestion in Nashville Be a Major Contributor to The High Accident Rate?

By Thompson Law

Nashville’s traffic congestion is at an all-time high, according to WSMV. Our city was ranked 24th in the nation for having the most traffic congestion in a study conducted by Texas A&M’s Transportation Institute.

On average, the daily commuter in greater Nashville spends 58 hours in traffic each year. Nashville’s traffic congestion dipped during the recession from 2007-2009, but commuter time has since risen.

Analysts also point to the Let’s Move Nashville initiative that was rejected by voters in 2018 — which was intended to fund the construction of a mass transit system. Proponents of this system believed it would have significantly cut down on traffic congestion.

With congestion becoming a growing problem in Nashville, what are the risks?

Earlier this year, WSMV reported on the alarming number of crashes in Nashville reported by the Tennessee Highway Patrol. What’s shocking is, the crash rate in Music City was 10 times higher than the population growth in 2018.

“What’s even worse is when it’s on the other side of the interstate and there’s no reason why this side should be slowing down but yet they do,” said one resident.

When traffic slows down on the interstate, the likelihood of crashes occurring increases.

“Whenever you have a large metropolitan such as Davidson, you are going to have a lot of crashes but the fault of the crashes are on the drivers,” said Lt. Bill Miller with the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

Traffic congestion can’t be deemed the culprit in a crash; only driver error can. This includes:

  • Distracted driving

  • Speeding

  • Reckless driving (such as weaving in and out of traffic)

  • Impaired driving

  • Road rage

What types of crashes are likely to occur when traffic is congested?

When traffic is backed up, rear-end collisions are likely to occur when drivers aren’t attentive or are behaving recklessly. This can happen in two different ways:

  • Low-impact: Traffic congestion often results in prolonged stop-and-go driving. Drivers who are struck in low-impact rear-end collisions often sustain a neck injury called whiplash. This happens when a person’s head jerks forward and backward rapidly — damaging the vertebrae and soft tissue in the neck.

  • High-impact: When traffic suddenly slows down or comes to a stop on an interstate, high-impact rear-end collisions can occur when inattentive or speeding drivers strike someone else’s vehicle at high speed. This can result in serious spinal injuries, as well as:

    • Broken bones

    • Soft tissue damage

    • Internal organ damage

    • Cuts, bruises, and contusions

    • Paralysis

    • Death

In other cases, drivers can be knocked out of their lane or off the road by drivers who weave in and out of traffic. Road rage is also common in traffic congestion, which sometimes leads to violence and drivers purposely crashing into another vehicle.

If you were hurt in a crash during your busy commute because of someone else’s negligence, consult with an experienced car accident attorney at Thompson Law. Our legal team is dedicated to helping injured Nashville motorists maximize their compensation.

We know how to hold negligent drivers accountable and urge insurance companies to do the right thing. Contact us online today to set up your free consultation.

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