Preliminary figures from the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security show the state had 988 traffic fatalities in 2013. That’s only the fourth time in 50 years the number has dipped under 1,000.
The 2013 number is a more-than-2 percent decrease from 2012, when there were 1,015 traffic deaths.
In 2011, there were 937 traffic-related deaths on Tennessee roadways, the lowest figure since 1963.
Commissioner Bill Gibbons attributed the decline in fatalities to a focus on data-driven deployment of state troopers to have the maximum impact on DUI and seat belt violations.
Between 2010 and 2013, impaired driving fatalities fell more than 26 percent in Tennessee. Over the same period, state troopers increased the number of DUI arrests by more than 90 percent.