Study: Rural Tennessee roads among deadliest in country

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CORDOVA, Tenn. -- Rural roads in Tennessee are ranked among the deadliest in the country.

According to a new study, three people die on rural roads for every one person that dies on a major road.

"He was my best friend," Joey Kite said.

Bryant Kite was killed driving down a rural country road in Cordova.

"You know life's never been the same since, and it will never be the same. You got to learn how to deal or live with the new normal," Joey, the victim's father, said.

Two days away from the seventh anniversary of his death,  Joey remembers the pain.

"It was just, it was just devastating.  It was just surreal," he recalled.

Deaths like Bryant's are just one of the reasons the National Transportation Research Group ranks Tennessee's rural roads among the deadliest in the country.

"The particular road that he was on was very winding.  You know very hair-pinned turns," Joey said.

The curves are still the same on Pisgah Road, where police say Bryant made a sharp turn too fast before he died.

"Sometimes the cars are speeding," Bobby Pearson said.

Pearson uses the rural roads everyday.

"Many of the roads was here before the subdivision.  So it may be time to look at redesigning some of the roads out here," Pearson said.

That's the same point researchers want to make. Research claims many rural roads are outdated, unkept, and not safe.

The study suggests widening roads or putting ridges along the middle so cars don't cross over. It also recommended cities install lights, reflective signs, and upgrade or add guard rails.

Kite said improvements might help save a life so families will not have to go through the tragedy he faced.


  • luvbreamfishin'

    Ha,,they need to drive around memphis and watch these dufus dimwits drive,,,then they will figure out it isn’t the roads that’s the problem.

    • Nonsense

      I agree..85% of these people driving are idiots. Tailgating because there are us who do not have to drive 55 on a 35 mph road, not using turn signals, stopping in the fast lane on interstate 40 because they missed a turn, cutting people off , making illegal turns/ u turns, turning and going to the farthest lane when the others have a green turn signal, making illegal lane changes in the middle of an intersection, speeding, running red lights, ect, ect…Oh and my favorite, driving 50 in a residential neighborhood where kids are playing and running the stop signs…A guy who used to live next door ( who mind you works for the city as a firefighter ) almost took out my car then had the nerve to flip me off because he ran a stop sign and was on the phone….Go figure…

  • sarabee

    Couldn’t be because kids aren’t required to take driver’s ed in TN… It’s not too hard to see that a lot of drivers around here need some schooling.

    • blahblahblah

      Isn’t that insane? Its worse than the teenage pregnancy cycle…one bad driver teaches another to be a bad driver and so on and so on.

  • Morgan Stanley

    The roads are fine. The problem is the insanity of the drivers around here. I’ve driven all over this great land and the worst drivers i have encountered are from this area.

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