NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – With school back in session in Middle Tennessee, school zones are now active each morning and afternoon. These areas are meant to keep children safe on their way to school, but traffic crashes can still happen.

Within a week’s time four students have been hit by cars in Middle Tennessee, some in school zones.

Murfreesboro saw one child struck and killed by a vehicle after getting off the bus on the first day of school. Then, two more children were injured in a crosswalk while walking to school after being hit by a car days later. The latter accident happened in a school zone.

Friday, a Clarksville High School student was hit by a car when he was crossing the street after school on Richview Road.

According to the Tennessee Highway Safety Office, the number of traffic crashes that took place in school zones remained consistent from 2015-2019 before dropping precipitously in 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic surged.

In 2020 and 2021, there was an average of just 707 school zone crashes reported.

So far in 2022, there have been 490 total school zone crashes reported, according to THSO.

There was an average of 1,173.4 crashes in school zones from 2015-2019. The most crashes from that range happened in 2016, when there were 1,248. The fewest crashes happened in 2018 with just 1,094.

Following the school calendar, more crashes took place from August to April, while crashes from May to July were smaller in number.

From 2015 to today, there have been 7,771 total school zone crashes reported, according to THSO. The counties with the highest number of school zone crashes from that time are Shelby with 870, Davidson with 626 and Hamilton with 470.

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The county with the least number of school zone crashes in that time is Perry County, which has a single crash reported from 2015 to today. It happened in 2015, according to THSO data. Lake County is just ahead of Perry County with two crashes reported in that time. The county logged one crash in 2016 and another in 2022.

Traffic crashes in school area designations by year

  • 2015: 1,241
  • 2016: 1,248
  • 2017: 1,186
  • 2018: 1,094
  • 2019: 1,098
  • 2020: 604
  • 2021: 810
  • 2022 (through Aug. 10, 2022): 490