Tennessee Drivers Named #2 on Most Irresponsible Drivers List

Buckle up, Tennessee drivers. We’ve got some not-so-great news for you. Earlier this year, SmartAsset released a study that ranked Tennessee as #2 on a list of the country’s most irresponsible drivers.

As a Tennessee driver, it’s important to understand how the state has earned this unfortunate reputation and what you can do to make Tennessee a safer place to drive.

Today, we’re going to break down the study, look at road fatality statistics nationwide, and discuss what you can do as a Tennessee driver to improve your driving record and stay safe on the road.

Read on to dive into our examination of Tennessee driving statistics and more.

Why Do Tennessee Drivers Get Low Ratings?

Let’s examine why Tennessee drivers are considered some of the most irresponsible drivers in the country.

High Traffic Fatality Rates

Researchers found that Tennessee ranks as the state with the eleventh-highest rate of traffic fatalities. For every 100 million miles Tennesseans drive, there is an average of 1.59 traffic-related deaths. This number includes drivers, passengers, cyclists, pedestrians, and anyone else who is killed in a car accident.

High Rates of Uninsured Drivers

Tennessee has somewhat unusual car insurance requirements compared to other states. Drivers must either fulfill the state’s minimum insurance policy or file a cash deposit with the state, verifying that they take financial responsibility as a driver. An estimated 23.7% of Tennessee drivers are uninsured, which means that you have an almost one-in-four chance of getting into an accident with someone who doesn’t have insurance to cover the damages.

High Traffic Ticket Rates

For every 1,000 drivers in Tennessee, almost 4 have a DUI. This gives Tennessee the sixteenth-highest DUI rate in the nation. Tennessee is also home to the ninth-highest rate of Google searches about traffic tickets, indicating that quite a few Tennessee drivers are looking to learn more about the impact of their irresponsible driving.

How Does that Nation Score Overall?

Thanks to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), we can also take a look at how drivers across the nation are faring. What are some national traffic statistics that can give us more perspective about Tennessee’s second-place ranking?

The national average of car accident-related deaths is slightly lower than Tennessee’s. For every 100 million vehicle miles traveled, 1.33 people die as a result of a car accident.

In 2021, we saw substantial increases in car accident fatalities all over the nation and across most age groups. For example, rural car accident fatalities increased by 4%. Urban car accident fatalities increased by 16%.

What is causing all of these car accident fatalities? Let’s take a look.

Primary Causes of Car Accidents Nationwide

One of the most common causes of car accidents is distracted driving. When drivers are paying attention to their phones, their in-car devices, their passengers, or anything other than the road, they are far more likely to cause an accident.

It would also appear that driving in an unfamiliar area can lead to an increased chance of getting into a car accident. Car accident fatalities went up by 15% for out-of-state drivers and only 4% for in-state drivers.

Other common causes include nighttime driving, driving while intoxicated, inclement weather, reckless driving, and ignoring the rules of the road. Age can also make a difference, with drivers under the age of 34 and over the age of 65 causing the most car accidents.

How Can Tennessee Drivers Dismiss Traffic Tickets?

A lot of Tennessee drivers are currently at risk of losing their driver’s license for one year or longer. If you get 12 points or more on your driver’s license in a 12-month period, you’re in the danger zone of license suspension. Plus, these points can increase your car insurance premiums.

In order to combat common traffic violations in Tennessee, the state has recently put new Tennessee traffic ticket laws into effect. Since July of 2022, Tennessee drivers now have the option to remove up to five points from their driver’s license by completing a DriveSafe Online Tennessee Defensive Driving course. Make sure that you are eligible and complete your defensive driving course within 90 days of your Tennessee traffic violation to knock some of those points off of your record.

Why Tennessee Drivers Should Take Defensive Driving Classes

As we’ve mentioned already, completing a defensive driving course can reduce the number of driving points on your driver’s license. However, defensive driving courses aren’t just for people who are already in trouble.

A lot of the car accident causes we listed above can be remedied with defensive driving. Defensive driving courses teach you how to navigate:

  • updated traffic laws
  • inclement weather
  • nighttime driving
  • possible distractions
  • other bad drivers on the road

and more. If you’re tired of living in one of the states with the worst drivers, take matters into your own hands. Take a DriveSafe Online safe driver course to become a better driver and keep yourself safe when surrounded by irresponsible drivers.

Make Tennessee a Safer Place to Drive

Tennessee drivers may be in need of a wake-up call. As the second most irresponsible drivers in the country, it’s time to start taking driving more seriously. With DriveSafe Online, you can.

Are you ready to improve your driving record and refresh your defensive driving skills? Are you committed to making Tennessee a safer place to drive? Check out our online defensive driving course designed for Tennessee drivers. Or take a course test drive to see why we were named the Best Overall Online Defensive Driving Course for 2021.