THP boosting holiday patrol following rise in deadly crashes for 2019
More people are dying on Tennessee roads in 2019.
According to the Department of Safety of Homeland Security, nearly 1,000 people have died in crashes this year.
As of last week, the number of fatalities totaled 989, which is an increase of 57 deaths compared to this time in 2018.
Overall, the Tennessee Highway Patrol's District 2 Headquarters in Chattanooga reports a total of 104 deadly crashes, which is the same number of crashes reported during the this time in 2018.
In Hamilton County, 45 people have died. It's an increase compared to the 38 fatalities last year.
While we don't know the reasons behind these crashes, Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) spokesperson Mark Nagi believes distracted driving has played a major role.
"Distracted driving is certainly a problem that we see on our roadways every day. Unfortunately, you still see people talking on their phones, not with hands-free devices," Nagi said. "You still see people texting and driving when they're behind the wheel. These are serious problems that can have serious ramifications."
Lt. John Harmon, public information officer for THP's Chattanooga office said they will be out in full force this week.
Lt. Harmon said they will utilize every trooper to monitor roads from Wednesday to Sunday.
He said the focus will be on major interstates like I-24 and I-75.