Tennessee highway fatalities higher than last year

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- More people have already died on Tennessee roads this year than all of last year. We studied the numbers with state troopers and tells us the solution is simple.

The sign shows 941 people have died this year on Tennessee roadways that's up from 937 last year. Kathy Smith says, "That's an awful lot. An awful lot."

The lighted billboards let drivers know how dangerous driving can be in Tennessee. Wayne Parker says, "To see a real number and compare it to the previous year it puts things in perspective."

Just knowing the risk isn't helping drivers stay alive mainly because they're not buckling up 60% of the people killed weren't wearing a seat belt. Tennessee State Trooper Sgt. Randall Martin says, "That's a large number of people dying on the roads who could just buckle up."

Troopers say the warmer weather had more people out on the roads leading to the increase in deadly crashes. Sgt. Randall Martin says, "Distracted driving people just not paying attention not attentive in driving not looking in defensive mode not looking at driver."

Remember we have three weeks left so buckle up and go the speed limit so the number doesn't go up.

We also found that 71 of those deaths this year were either walking or riding a bicycle.