Roadway fatalities climb in 2016 compared to last year

(Photo: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – With just more than two weeks left of 2016, the number of traffic fatalities on Tennessee roadways has eclipsed last year’s totals.

So far this year, 981 people have died in crashes in Tennessee. That’s 79 more than the same date in 2015.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) says there’s not a single cause for the increase, but the vast majority of the crashes are totally preventable.

Many of those deadly crashes were caused by distracted driving, driving under the influence, speeding, or lack of seat belt use.

Brentwood officer John Maxwell said he’s not surprised by the numbers based on what he sees every day.

“Take your time,” said Officer Maxwell. “Everybody’s in a hurry.”

Distracted driving has become a huge problem on roadways nationwide, especially the use of cell phones while driving.

Click here to read the full report by the THP.