Life-Altering Crash Map Available

Every 13 hours in our region, someone experiences a fatal or serious-injury traffic crash. Staff created a new interactive map that shows where these life-altering crashes occur and sorts them by severity and type.

Between January 2016 and June 2019, 2,326 life-altering crashes occurred in the Knoxville Region. Of those, 321 were fatalities and 2,005 involved a serious injury. This tool helps to better understand where, when and how these types of crashes happen, as well as the impact they have on individuals, families and communities. 

The idea for this mapping and data analysis came from previous work on pedestrian- and bicycle-related traffic crashes. Pedestrian- and bicycle-related crashes account for approximately eight percent of life-altering crashes in the region. Staff wanted to investigate additional crash types to better understand the locations and circumstances in which road users of all types are most at risk.

Several categories of crashes were analyzed for the new map, and in some instances, more than one factor is at play. The categories are: 

  • Single-motor-vehicle-only crashes, which are typically crashes in which one vehicle runs off the road and hits a pole, tree, or other object; 
  • Senior-driver crashes, which involve a driver age 65 or older;
  • DUI crashes, where the police report notes the possible presence of alcohol or drugs in at least one person involved;
  • Teen-driver crashes, which involve a driver between the ages of 13 and 19;
  • Motorcycle-related crashes; and
  • Pedestrian- or bicycle-related crashes.

This data is important to our work on traffic safety. Some crash types occur more often on certain days and times of day; for instance, teen-driver crashes happen most frequently on Wednesday evenings and Friday afternoons, while senior-driver crashes occur most often on weekday afternoons. Many of these crashes also involve alcohol or other drugs, which suggests that the use and abuse of these substances is an important factor. And just 13 roadways in the region account for a large share of life-altering crashes. Addressing these issues requires a broad effort by multiple parties. The TPO helps coordinate those efforts by regularly collaborating with local governments, TDOT, and others to share information.

All of this information – including maps, infographics, reports, and access to raw data – can be found on one web page: