Are pedestrians safe in Tennessee?

Knox County has experienced an increase in the number of pedestrian fatalities according to statistics with a total of eight deaths in 2014.

As the winter weather becomes a mere memory for this year, more Tennessee residents are venturing back outside to enjoy the spring weather. While there are many positive sides to this it is also important for people to face the fact that they are highly vulnerable as pedestrians. This is actually just as true in the winter as in the spring or fall. Even walking across a parking lot or waiting for a bus can put a person on foot in the way of a vehicle.

Two fatalities highlight danger in Knoxville

Two recent examples of this were cited by local media reports just last autumn. According to, a 25-year-old driver indicated that he was unable to avoid hitting a 22-year-old pedestrian because he could not see her. The accident, which claimed the woman’s life, happened in Knoxville near the intersection of September Lane and Rutledge Park.

Another pedestrian also died in northeast Knoxville, this time near Loves Creek Road and Buffet Mill Road. The Knoxville News Sentinel states that the driver is facing charges in the case. Reports point out that instead of stopping after striking the pedestrian, the driver kept going so that he could take the place of one of his passengers and put that passenger in the driver’s seat.

Statistics show statewide increase in pedestrian deaths

Records from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration should make everyone in Tennessee stop and rethink pedestrian safety. Both 2013 and 2014 saw jumps in the number of pedestrians who died across the state. Specific data shows the following:

  • In 2010, 87 pedestrians died out of a total 1,032 vehicular deaths.
  • In 2011, total deaths and pedestrian deaths both declined as there were 937 fatalities in all and 80 of those were pedestrians.
  • The following year, pedestrian fatalities dropped even more to 67 out of 1,015 deaths.
  • 2013 saw a spike back up in the number of pedestrian lives lost to 80 out of 995 total fatalities.
  • That trend continued in 2014 as 86 out of 962 vehicular fatalities were pedestrians.

It is important to note that not only did the number of pedestrian deaths go up in 2013 and 2014, but the number of overall vehicular fatalities declined. This means pedestrians comprised an even greater percentage of overall deaths in motor vehicle accidents.

A view of pedestrian fatalities in Knox County

In looking at pedestrians accidents in eastern Tennessee, more pedestrians died in Knox County between 2010 and 2014 than in all eight of its neighboring counties combined. In all, Knox County experienced 29 such fatalities in that five-year span. Together, Sevier, Blount, Jefferson, Grainger, Union, Anderson, Roane and Loudon Counties experienced a total of 26 pedestrian deaths.

Recommendations for accident victims

Anytime a pedestrian accident occurs, steps should be taken to secure appropriate compensation. This can be done by victims directly or by their family members in the event that they died in the accidents. Talking with an attorney is recommended for help in seeking appropriate compensation.