By: Darrell Castle

Out of all cities, Memphis has the 23rd largest population in the country. It’s also a city in which businesses and residential areas are spread out. That results in a lot of cars on the road covering a lot of ground daily.


The more cars on the road, the higher probability of seeing a car accident. That’s just math. Most of the time it’s just an accident with some property damage — a fender bender we hope. But often the accident results in an injury. Or even a fatality.

The Tennessee Department of Safety offers some detailed crash data to help show trends in the state, and just how dangerous driving in Memphis — Shelby County for the sake of this article — can be.

Take a look at these charts (click to enlarge):

This breaks down various driving stats by county in Tennessee. And there are several figures worth noting.

  • Shelby County ranks 1st in the number of licensed drivers. This further proves how driver-driven Memphis is, thus how dangerous it can be driving here. Simple math, folks.
  • Shelby County ranks 2nd in overall crash rate.
  • Out of those crashes, Shelby County ranks 3rd in injuries.
  • When dealing with motorcycle crashes specifically, Shelby County ranks 6th.
  • Shelby County ranks 3rd in young driver crash rate (15-24 years old) and 2nd in senior driver crash rate (65+ years old).

What type of auto accidents?

This chart shows the type of auto accident — fatal, injured or property damage only — from 2004 to March 31, 2015 (click to enlarge):


You can see the numbers for Shelby County are pretty staggering.

What time do these auto accidents happen?

According to this chart, the most accidents happen in Shelby County from 3:00-5:59pm. That seems like a given, knowing the majority of individuals are getting off work. That also feeds into the general time when many parents are picking their children up from school.

The second highest volume of accidents happen from 12:00-2:59pm. This is lunch time for many folks. It also feeds into the general school pickup time.

What time of the year do auto accidents happen?

Below is a chart that shows how many accidents happen in each county during specific months.

No month really stands out as eye-popping, but December has the highest volume of accidents out of all the months. It’s fair to assume this has to do with the holidays and folks driving around shopping. Also, schools are out on winter break, adding more vehicles to the road during what would be school hours.

Conclusion about auto accidents in Memphis from these charts

Memphis should be considered a dangerous place to drive. But not for any other reason than it’s a driver-driven city with many vehicles on the road.

That’s not to say you should be scared to drive in Memphis. But you should be cautious. And you should be prepared.

At Darrell Castle & Associates, we offer some great resources for you.

You can download our Car Accident Checklist to print and keep in your car. If you ever find yourself in a car accident, this will serve as your guide at the scene. It’ll tell you everything to do — and NOT to do. It could save you thousands of dollars.

And for everything else you need to know about auto accidents and the legal process, download Car Accident Law 101.

Why you need an auto accident attorney