Speeding is a common factor in Nashville car accidents.
In an effort to reduce the number of car accidents caused by speeding drivers in Nashville, the city plans to install 85 traffic calming projects throughout Music City over the next year, according to a recent announcement from the Nashville Department of Transportation.
"A selection of eighty-five streets represents our largest traffic calming undertaking since the inception of the program," said Nashville Department of Transportation Director Diana Alarcon. "It's very exciting to be working on neighborhood streets all across the county to positively impact safety and quality of life. Traffic Calming is an extremely popular program, and we're working to scale up our efforts as Nashville grows."
What is a traffic calming project?
Traffic calming is a term road safety experts use to describe projects designed to slow drivers down and prevent accidents involving other cars, pedestrians, cyclists, and non-motorized users. Examples of traffic calming projects include:
- Speed bumps or raised devices in the road.
- Curb extensions into the street, especially at crosswalks.
- Traffic circles and other roundabouts.
- Road diets, which reduce the number of traffic lanes and reallocate road space for bicycle lanes, pedestrian traffic islands, and other non-motorized uses.
Improving dangerous roads in Nashville
Officials plan to launch 85 traffic calming projects throughout Nashville, city officials announced in August. The project is part of Nashville's Vision Zero program, which aims to reduce the number of traffic fatalities in the city to zero.
Initially, Nashville will focus on 25 projects. The remaining 60 traffic calming projects are slated to be completed this winter. Nashville officials have identified which traffic calming projects are a priority for the city, and the top 10 scheduled to be completed this fall include:
- 38th Avenue North
- Dupont Avenue
- Hillwood Boulevard
- October Woods Drive
- Bonnafair Drive
- 23rd Avenue North
- Creekwood North
- Harpeth Valley Road
- South 16th Street
- Old Matthews Road
Speed-related car accidents on the rise
The high number of traffic calming projects slated for Nashville will hopefully help reduce the number of speed-related car accidents in the city. Between 2017 and 2021, the number of crash fatalities in Davidson County (which includes Nashville) soared higher during those five years.
Specifically, the number of car accident deaths due to speeding in Davidson County, Tennessee increased by 123 percent from 13 deaths in 2017 to 29 in 2021, according to accident data compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
What makes speeding so dangerous?
Speeding is far more than just a minor traffic violation; it's a significant contributor to serious and fatal car accidents for the following reasons:
- Reduced reaction time: Speeding dramatically shortens the time available for a driver to react to unexpected situations. When a vehicle travels at high speeds, the driver has minimal time to perceive a hazard, decide on a course of action, and execute it. This reduced reaction time makes accidents more likely, and they tend to be more severe when they occur.
- Increased impact force: The energy of a moving vehicle increases exponentially with speed. In the event of a car wreck, the force of impact is directly proportional to the square of the speed. This means that even just a small increase in speed can lead to a substantial rise in collision energy. Consequently, accidents involving speeding vehicles often result in more violent crashes, causing greater damage to vehicles and, more critically, causing more severe injuries to those involved in the crash.
- Longer stopping distance: Speeding vehicles require significantly longer distances to come to a stop. When a driver hits the brakes, the car's momentum propels it forward. At higher speeds, this momentum is much greater, requiring a greater distance to stop safely. When drivers underestimate their stopping distance, they risk rear-ending other vehicles, particularly when traffic suddenly slows or stops.
- Loss of vehicle control: High speeds make it harder for drivers to maintain control of their vehicles, especially when navigating curves, turns, or slippery road conditions. Speeding increases the likelihood of skidding, sliding, or hydroplaning, making it more difficult for the driver to maneuver and avoid collisions.
- Greater severity of injuries: Speeding increases the likelihood of an accident and magnifies the severity of injuries sustained by vehicle occupants and pedestrians. The energy transferred during a high-speed collision can cause catastrophic injuries, including traumatic brain injuries, broken bones, spinal cord injuries, and fatalities.
- Risk of secondary violations: Speeding often goes hand-in-hand with other dangerous behaviors, such as distracted driving, unsafe or illegal passing, and failure to yield the right-of-way. These compound violations significantly elevate the risk of accidents, especially on busy roads or highways like those in Nashville and throughout Middle Tennessee.
Talk to a car accident lawyer who knows Nashville
When dealing with car accident claims involving speeding, insurance companies frequently use tactics to reduce or deny compensation to crash victims. These strategies include shifting liability onto victims, downplaying the severity of injuries, challenging the necessity of medical treatments, offering lowball settlements, and intentionally causing delays in the claims process. Why? Because insurance companies only care about one thing – protecting their bottom line.
At the Law Office of Eric Beasley, we help Nashville crash victims fight back. With decades of experience serving the Nashville community, Attorney Eric Beasley and his dedicated legal team ensure that individuals are not taken advantage of by insurance companies during their healing process. We have a track record of securing substantial settlements and verdicts for victims of various accidents, including a $3.5 million settlement for a client in a fatal car accident case. If you've been injured, don't wait. Contact us now for a free consultation to discuss your potential legal options.