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Hamilton County Car Accident Statistics

Car Accidents in the Greater Chattanooga Area

There were 206,380 car accidents in Tennessee in 2016, with Hamilton County contributing 12,582. This equates to 7% of total accidents, an interesting statistic considering Hamilton County constitutes over 5% of Tennessee’s total population. Our Chattanooga car accident attorneys are ready to speak with you today if you or a loved one has been hurt in a crash in or near Hamilton County. With over 30 attorneys and 120 support staff members, we the largest Tennessee-based personal injury law firm dedicated to representing injured victims.

Hamilton County Car Accident Statistics

Hamilton County is home to one of Tennessee’s largest cities, Chattanooga. Located within county lines are several large interstates, including Interstate 24 and Interstate 75. These roads see dense traffic, not only consisting of private vehicles and school buses, but also trucks and 18-wheelers coming to and from nearby states like Georgia.

In 2016, Hamilton County had the 4th most licensed drivers of any county in Tennessee, with 251,123. For comparison purposes, Shelby County had the most licensed drivers during that year, with more than 575,000. Between 2012-2016, the number of total crashes in Hamilton County remained fairly stagnant, as follows:

  • 2012: 12,847
  • 2013: 12,781
  • 2014: 11,469
  • 2015: 12,956
  • 2016: 12,582
Causes of Motor Vehicle Crashes in Hamilton County

Following most accidents, police officers will respond. In Chattanooga, officers from a variety of law enforcement agencies may come to the scene, including the Chattanooga Police Department, Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office, or Tennessee Highway Patrol. Their job includes making the accident scene safe, calling for medical assistance when necessary, investigating the accident, and assessing fault, based on the available evidence. Per the Tennessee Department of Safety & Homeland Security, the following citations were most commonly issued as to fault between 2007-2017:

  • Following Improperly (25,695)
  • Failure to Yield Right of Way (19,875)
  • Failure to Keep in Proper Lane or Running Off Road (12,534)
  • Speed Too Fast for Conditions (6,107)
  • Failure to Obey Traffic Controls (3,514)

Alcohol use was the 4th leading cause of car accidents from 2007-2016. Hamilton County car accident statistics show that it had 3,818 drunk driving crashes during this time period. In 2007, there were 348 drunk driving accidents, and that figure peaked at 480 in 2012. Fortunately for Chattanooga residents, it dropped to 353 by 2016. When drugs and alcohol are involved in a car accident, Tennessee law allows a special class of damages to be pursued: punitive damages. This class of compensation can be awarded to punish a defendant for exhibiting reckless conduct and deter others from acting that way in the future.

Distracted driving is another major concern in the area. Distracted driving involves operating a vehicle while attention is elsewhere. Common distractions include talking to other passengers, GPS devices, in-car technology, the radio, and most notably, cell phones. Of course, cell phones are now more prevalent than ever, and Hamilton County car accident statistics regarding cell phone crashes reflect that trend. In 2007, there were 435 cell phone-related crashes, and by 2011, that number had more than doubled to reach 866 crashes. Unfortunately, they continued to increase through 2016, with 1,087 cell phone wrecks during 2016.

Seatbelt use is required by Tennessee law. While younger children should be restrained by car seats and booster seats when appropriate, older children, teenagers, and adults are required to buckle up. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has stated that seatbelt use can reduce the risk of fatality by 50%, which is why Tennessee has enacted popular campaigns such as “Click It or Ticket.” Hamilton County car accident statistics show that seatbelt use did improve from 2003-2016. In 2003, police noted 802 unrestrained passengers, and that annual figure has continued to drop. In 2016, only 346 occupants were noted by police to be unrestrained.

Get a Free Consultation with a Car Wreck Lawyer

Nahon, Saharovich & Trotz, the largest Tennessee-based personal injury law firm, employs a team of more than 30 attorneys and 120 support staff members, all dedicated to helping injured victims recover the compensation they deserve. Our Chattanooga lawyers are ready to talk to you or a loved one today about how we can assist during your time of need. For a free case evaluation, call us at 800-529-4004 or complete our online form. Whether you need a motor vehicle or motorcycle wreck lawyer, NST is the way to go.