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TDOT Launches Witty Anti-Phone Campaign

Earlier last month, drivers on the interstates in Tennessee undoubtedly noticed new signs up on the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) message boards. They read, “Eyes on the road and your head out of your apps,” and were part of the department’s new campaign to keep drivers from using their phones while behind the wheel.

Reasons for the Campaign

Safety is the number one priority for TDOT, and the department hopes that this new campaign will encourage drivers to stay off of their smart phones while behind the wheel. TDOT’s new campaign premise is simple – smart drivers do not drive while using their smartphones. A TDOT spokeswoman said transportation departments all across the nation are resorting to witty, sometimes surprisingly risqué messages to try and grab a driver’s attention in order to possibly save lives.

Tennessee Texting while Driving Law

According to Tennessee Code Section 55-8-199, “No person while driving a motor vehicle on any public road or highway shall use a hand-held mobile telephone or a hand-held personal digital assistant to transmit or read a written message.” The penalty for using a smart phone to text and drive is a Class C Misdemeanor, with a fine of up to $50, plus any related court fees.

Tennessee Car Accident Statistics

According to the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security, so far this year there have been 222,029 car accidents involving property damage, injuries, and deaths across the state. Of those traffic incidents, a total of 893 fatalities have been reported. In addition, a total of 944 accidents this year can be directly attributed to distracted driving, texting, and being on a smartphone while behind the wheel. Over the last decade, a total of 4,330 accidents can be directly related to distracted driving, smart phone and texting use.

Results of Cell Phone Distraction

Although it is dangerous, many drivers use their time behind the wheel to multitask, and more often than not that includes using a smartphone. When drivers are on their phones it takes away from concentrating on the roads, the flow of traffic, and the other drivers around them. To read the average text, a driver takes their eyes off of the road for around five seconds. Going at interstate or highway speeds, it equals not looking at the road for the length of a football field.

When people are on their smart phones while driving it can lead to:

  • Loss of eye contact;
  • Hands off of the wheel;
  • Delayed reaction time;
  • Diminished concentration on the road;
  • Failure to check blind spots;
  • Failure to see other cars, motorcycles, pedestrians, and bicycles;
  • Last minute turns and lane changes;
  • Impaired cognitive and motor skills; and

…and other dangerous delays or issues that routinely lead to accidents on the roads.

Call a Nashville Personal Injury Attorney

Texting or otherwise using a phone while driving is incredibly dangerous, but it happens routinely. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident because the other driver was being negligent on a phone or otherwise hurt in the Nashville area, let the experienced personal injury attorneys at Calhoun Law, PLC help. Call or contact the office today for a free and confidential consultation of your case.

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