The Morristown Police Department has seen a 125% increase in the number of persons killed in traffic crashes in the city of Morristown over this time last year. The total number of people killed in 2013 on city roadways is 7, including two double-fatality crashes, compared with 4 during the same time period last year and only 6 for the entire year of 2012.
MPD Chief Roger Overholt urges all motorists to pay close attention to the speed when they drive and to be aware of the dangers of distracted driving. National statistics from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety indicate that speed is a factor in nearly one-third of all traffic fatalities and the amount of crash force on impact doubles with every 10 miles per hour speed increase over 50 mph. Distracted driving is cited as a factor in 18% of injury crashes throughout the US according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. Examples of distracted driving include adjusting the radio, eating and drinking, and using a cell phone and texting. In Tennessee, 126 deaths in the past two years were caused by drivers using electronic devices. Over the past year in Morristown, 11 crashes have been attributed to texting while driving.
The MPD is continuing its efforts to educate the public about the dangers of speeding and distracted driving in order to deter traffic crashes and save our community from related injuries and deaths.