How Tennessee Fared in Nationwide Safety Analysis

September 26th, 2017 by Attorney John Colvin

Texas Personal Injury Lawyer

The National Safety Council recently released its report, “The State of Safety,” in which it ranks all states on specific safety measures. The NSC looked at three main categories, with sub-categories that accounted for a certain percentage of the total main-category score:



  • Alcohol Impaired Driving: 16% of total category score
  • Child Passengers: 16%
  • Distracted Driving: 20%
  • Older Drivers: 8%
  • Seat Belts: 13%
  • Speeding: 9%
  • Teen Drivers: 12%
  • Vulnerable Road Users: 6%

Home and Community

  • Drownings: 14%
  • Firearms: 20%
  • Home Fires: 17%
  • Older Adults Falls: 16%
  • Poisonings: 19%
  • Youth Sports-Related Concussions: 14%


  • Prevention, Preparedness and Enforcement: 50%
  • Workers’ Compensation: 25%
  • Worker Health and Wellbeing: 25%

Tennessee ranked 21st in overall safety, with a letter grade of C. No state received a letter grade of A, and Maryland ranked first, with a grade of B.

Tennessee’s Results

Each sub-category contained key provisions – for example, under the sub-category of distracted driving, the NSC looked at whether states had laws that ban cellphone use for teens and novice drivers, and whether texting bans applied to all drivers. States received one of three results, based on the number of provisions they met: on-track, developing, or off-track. These are some of Tennessee’s highlights from the report:


Tennessee and Oklahoma were the only states that earned on-track ratings for the safety of child passengers, with each state meeting at least three of these four provisions:

  • Children must be in rear-facing seat through at least age 2
  • Children must be in proper booster seat until at least age 8
  • Good Samaritan laws that apply to people helping children left in hot cars
  • Legislation to address the issue of children left in hot cars.

Tennessee was also on track regarding distracted driving but received off-track ratings for its seat belt laws and speeding countermeasures. The state earned an overall grade of B in the “Roads” category, and ranked 13th.

Home and Community

Tennessee was assigned an off-track rating for its lack of rules aimed at preventing deaths by drowning, fires, and firearms. But the state was on track in prevention of deaths from carbon monoxide poisoning and prescription drug overdose.

Tennessee also was on track for youth sports concussion prevention, meeting both key provisions: state laws regarding youth concussion procedures and mandatory concussion recognition and awareness training for coaches. The state received an overall grade of D in the “Home and Community” category, tying with West Virginia for 21st place.


Tennessee ranked 31st in overall workplace safety, receiving off-track ratings for lacking state laws that promote workplace wellness and prohibit drugs or smoking in the workplace. The NSC ranked the state as developing, in the areas of workers’ compensation and workplace safety/anti-violence regulations.

Key Takeaways

The NSC report shows that while Tennessee isn’t at the bottom of the list, there’s much room for improvement. Hopefully, the results of this report will influence the development of state laws that better protect Tennesseans.

John R. Colvin, Attorney at Law, has successfully represented injured clients throughout Tennessee and Alabama who have been seriously hurt in accidents on the road, at home, and at work. For 20 years, he has been helping victims put their lives back on track and he is ready to help you. For advice on how to proceed next or if you have any questions about this topic, call 1-931-962-1044 or submit this online form. Put his bold approach and client focus to work for you.

Licensed to Practice in Tennessee & Alabama