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Increase in Traffic Fatalities Over Thanksgiving Holiday Weekend


Tennessee Department of SafetyNashville, TN – Preliminary reports indicate 12 people were killed during the 2010 Thanksgiving holiday weekend, compared to 10 fatalities during last year’s Thanksgiving Day holiday period.  Statistics for the 2010 Thanksgiving holiday reflect the time period from 6:00pm, Wednesday November 24th, 2010, to midnight Sunday, November 28th, 2010.

In 1983, the fewest number of Thanksgiving holiday period motor vehicle fatalities were recorded with seven, according to the Tennessee Department of Safety.  The highest number of people killed during a Thanksgiving holiday period happened in 1966, when 34 people were killed in crashes on Tennessee roadways. In 2008, there were 10 fatalities during the four-day Thanksgiving holiday weekend and 13 fatalities were recorded in 2007.

Twelve people were killed in 10 fatal crashes during the 2010 Thanksgiving holiday period.  Seven of the victims were not wearing seat belts. The 10 crashes occurred in Campbell, Davidson, Grainger, Hamilton, Lawrence, Marshall, McNairy, Rutherford, Shelby, and Union counties. The crash in Lawrence County was a double fatality that killed two teenagers, ages 15 and 17. Neither victim was wearing a safety restraint.

To kickoff the holiday period, the Tennessee Highway Patrol conducted its Combined Accident Reduction Enforcement or “C.A.R.E. Across Tennessee” campaign, which saw State Troopers stationed at every 10-mile stretch of road on both the eastbound and westbound lanes of travel on Interstate 40. The goal was to encourage travelers to drive safe, wear seat belts and obey the rules of the road.

Additionally, the THP conducted more than 80 sobriety and driver license checkpoints across the state, issuing citations to drivers and passengers who were not wearing seat belts as part of a ramped up “Click it or Ticket” campaign.  Troopers also arrested motorists for driving under the influence and cited drivers for speeding.

A preliminary holiday statistical report, including dates, time and locations of where the fatal crashes occurred over the 2010 Thanksgiving holiday period, as well as enforcement activity totals, accompanies this release.  Please note the official traffic fatality count may rise due to delays in reporting from municipalities and classification of traffic fatalities.

As of December 1st, preliminary statistics indicate that 967 people have died on Tennessee roadways in 2010, an increase of 55 deaths compared to 912 fatalities at this same time a year ago.

The Tennessee Department of Safety’s mission is (www.TN.Gov/safety) to ensure the safety and general welfare of the public.  The department encompasses the Tennessee Highway Patrol, Office of Homeland Security and Driver License Services. General areas of responsibility include law enforcement, safety education, motorist services and terrorism prevention.




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