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Tennessee road signs displaying death totals stirs controversy

Tennessee residents have likely seen the TDOT signs on the roadways, displaying the painful number of those who have perished on a Tennessee road. They inspire many different reactions, including those who appreciate them and those who find they are even more distracting. The reports of 2012's fatalities from a motor vehicle accident may show that the signs might have been helpful.

While it cannot entirely be known if it was due to the signs, it is thought by some that even just the chatter about the signs could be helping the cause. Raising awareness could have helped and the signs were likely a big part of the awareness last year. The Tennessee Department of Transportation commissioner mentioned that everywhere the signs were showing the fatality totals, he heard of people discussing the matter. He also mentions that the largest spike of fatalities occurred prior to the posting of the numbers and that after the signs were reporting them, the fatalities plateaued.

One woman featured in a source explains her support for the display, saying that she hopes it could help another family avoid the trauma she and her family had to go through after her 29-year-old sister was killed in a drunk driving accident. The inebriated driver was reportedly so influence by the alcohol that it was reported that they believed they were riding inside of a cab, not driving themselves. The commissioner also remarks on the amount of deaths that occurred as a result of drunk driving: some 30 percent of the year's total.

Losing a loved one to drunk driving can be such a difficult thing to deal with and come to terms with let alone see out in public. There has been some positive feedback among the negative when it comes to these numbers being shown every week with several people saying how they make an effort to be safer drivers now. Tennessee residents who have had to suffer through such an ordeal may consider working with an attorney to know their options as they begin to move forward with their lives.

Source:, "Sister of drunken-driving victim supports TDOT signs," The Tennessean, Jan. 11, 2013

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