The number of crashes is spiking in Nashville according to new numbers from the Tennessee Highway Patrol.
“What’s even worse is when it’s on the other side of the interstate and there’s no reason why this side should be slowing down but yet they do," said Nashville resident Becky Wynne.
It's expected that traffic and crashes will increase as more people move to Music City, but News4 finds the crash rate was more than 10 times higher than population growth last year.
"Whenever you have a large metropolitan such as Davidson, you are going to have a lot of crashes but the fault of the crashes are on the drivers." said Lt. Bill Miller with the Tennessee Highway Patrol.
According to the THP, there were 33,681 crashes in Nashville in 2017 and jumped to 36,537 in 2018 -- an 8.5 percent increase.
Numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau shows Nashville's population was 667,560 in 2017 and 671,374 in 2018 -- a 0.6 percent increase.
Nashville resident Zelma Alexander says she isn't surprised.
"You gotta think about it -- everybody is coming from different places as well so that’s also merging their driving styles," said Alexander.
Miller calls these numbers alarming and says most crashes involve distracted driving.
"Was the driver distracted by a playing with a cell phone, sending an email or texting...Were they trying to they adjust their seat? Were they eating? Did they have a dog on their lap," said Miller.
Wynne says she no longer answers her phone when she drives.
“If you don’t pay 100% to what is going on around you in your car, you’re just going to be one of those accidents," said Wynne.
Miller says drivers leaving extra time to get where they're going could make a major difference.
"If traffic does increase, if you give yourself ample time to arrive to your destination, you can drive slower and safer and avoid many incidents," said Miller.
Number of crashes in Nashville according to THP:
- 2013: 24,427
- 2014: 26,204
- 2015: 31,366
- 2016: 33,165
- 2017: 22,681
- 2018: 36,537
Population in Nashville according to U.S. Census:
- 2013: 635,702
- 2014: 645,950
- 2015: 664,762
- 2016: 659,042
- 2017: 667,560
- 2018: 671,374