Nashville Road Safety Overview

Nashville Road Safety Overview

According to Vision Zero Nashville, 360 people, on average, lose their lives in car accidents in Nashville each year. This gives Nashville the 24th-highest number of traffic fatalities per 100,000 residents. 

Charlotte, North Carolina, has a fatality rate of 8.2 people, and Austin’s rate is only slightly higher at 8.4 people. In contrast, Nashville’s rate is 14.5 people per 100,000 residents.

Davidson County Crash Statistics

According to the Tennessee Department of Safety & Homeland Security (DSHS), a total of 554 crashes involving serious injury or death happened throughout Davidson County between 2022 and January 2024. This included 452 crashes involving serious injury and 102 that resulted in a fatality.

Within Nashville, the DSHS noted that July was the busiest month in 2023 in terms of the number of crashes, with 54 serious injury crashes and 9 fatality wrecks. January saw the fewest number of wrecks in 2023, with only 25 serious injury accidents and 6 fatality accidents. 

June and November were the deadliest months. Twelve fatality accidents happened during each of them. Most Nashville motor vehicle accidents in 2023 happened between 3 p.m. and 10 p.m., with the majority occurring on Friday and Saturday. These were also the two days that saw the most fatality wrecks.

Causes of Fatal Collisions in Nashville, TN

DSHS data further identifies the causes of the most fatal car accidents in Nashville.

 These factors include:

Impaired Drivers

Drivers who had consumed alcohol or drugs played a role in over 100 accidents in 2023, including 36 crashes that resulted in a fatality. Drivers who consume alcohol or drugs and then get behind the wheel are unable to correctly process the information they receive through their senses. As a result, they can misjudge distances and speeds as well as make riskier decisions.


Drivers who exceeded the speed limit were a circumstance in 20 Nashville fatality collisions, according to DSHS. Speeding includes exceeding the posted speed limit and traveling at a speed that is too fast for the current road conditions. 

When you choose to speed, you give yourself less time to notice and react to dangers that come into your path. You also make it more challenging to control your vehicle safely while turning and braking.

Teen Drivers

Teen drivers were a factor in 10 fatality accidents in Nashville in 2023. A young driver lacks the experience behind the wheel to make smart and quick decisions to avoid accidents. 

Instead, teen drivers are more likely to panic and make sudden movements that cause them to lose control or crash into another vehicle. They are also more prone to engaging in reckless behaviors like speeding.

Large Trucks

Finally, large commercial trucks were a factor in seven fatal accidents. These heavy vehicles have a tremendous amount of energy that gets transferred to other vehicles when colliding with them. This raises the risk of a serious injury or fatality in any collision, and the risk only continues to grow as the speed of the commercial vehicle increases.

Distracted Driving Did Not Lead To Any Fatalities in 2023

Much effort has been spent by local, state, and federal governments to warn about the dangers of distracted driving. This includes using your cell phone, eating, or applying makeup while driving. While nearly 30 accidents resulting in serious injuries were reported involving a distracted driver, no fatality accidents were connected to a distracted driver.

Where Nashville Traffic Injuries and Accidents Occur

Vision Zero’s data has identified a High-Injury Network consisting of the streets and roads where the majority of traffic accidents of all types happen. About 40% of all accidents that result in serious injury or death to motorists happen on about 3.5% of the city’s roads. 

Some of the most dangerous roads in Nashville include:

  • Gallatin Pike
  • Murfreesboro Pike
  • Harding Place
  • Conference Drive
  • Old Hickory Boulevard

In addition to these roads, the following intersections were identified by Vision Zero as being locations where a significant number of collisions occur:

  • Charlotte Pike and Old Charlotte Pike
  • Old Hickory Boulevard and Rio Vista
  • Old Hickory Boulevard and Gallatin Pike
  • Murfreesboro Pike and Gallatin Pike

Causes of Crashes in Davidson County, TN

The Tennessee DSHS identified the following as the most common driver actions that lead to crashes in greater Davidson County:

  • Improperly following another driver
  • Failing to yield the right of way
  • Failing to remain in one’s proper lane
  • Improper lane change
  • Failing to obey traffic control lights and signs
  • Speeding too fast for the prevailing road conditions

The three least common reasons for wrecks in the county included improperly towing or pushing a vehicle, improperly carrying hazardous cargo, and being interfered with by a passenger.

Further Statistics About Drivers Involved in Crashes in Davidson County

The DSHS also identified 26- to 35-year-olds as the age group with the most accidents in Davidson County. Between 2022 and 2024, a total of 20,838 drivers in that age bracket were involved in wrecks. The group with the second-highest total were drivers between 16 and 25. In total, over 16,000 drivers were involved in Davidson County car wrecks.

The majority of drivers who crashed appeared normal immediately after their accident. However, 325 appeared to be fatigued, 309 appeared abnormal in some way, and 260 appeared to be under the influence of illegal drugs. The statistics also show that a significant number of drivers appeared abnormal in some undeterminable way.

Safety on Nashville’s Roads Begins With Knowledge

Your own driving habits play a significant role in mitigating your risk of being involved in a traffic accident. However, understanding where and why crashes occur can assist, too. 

Insights gleaned from local and state statistics can help drivers reduce their risk of being involved in a crash. Statistics will enable you to avoid certain roads and intersections and refrain from engaging in certain behaviors behind the wheel.