NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- In Tennessee 52 years ago, a gallon of gas cost 29 cents, "Lassie" was one of the popular shows on TV, and "Surfin' U.S.A." was number one on the radio, but the folks at Tennessee Highway Patrol have been celebrating a throwback to the year 1963 that means good things for drivers today.
This year, Tennessee has been on track to have the fewest number of roadway fatalities since 1963.
THP officials said the decrease has been occurring even as other states in the South have been experiencing an increase in traffic fatalities.
“We know we're going in the right direction, we know we're reducing fatalities, and we know what we're doing is making a difference,” said Lt. Bill Miller with the Tennessee Highway Patrol.
One of the things THP credited for this drop was a predictive computer program now in the hands of troopers that can determine when and where crashes have been likely to happen and where drunk drivers were likely to be, using past data.
THP said their targeted DUI, seatbelt and distracted driving enforcement have also led to lower fatality numbers.
So far this year, 532 people have lost their lives on Tennessee roadways. That's down 51 deaths from this same time last year.