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Tennessee Among Riskiest States for Drivers

Because of where you live, even the safest drivers behind the wheel may be taking huge financial risks every time that they drive. According to a new report, auto insurance requirements still vary widely among the states, and this report ranked all fifty states, plus the District of Columbia, from the safest to the riskiest based on the auto insurance requirements of each state.

Risky Driving Report

The report ranked the states by awarding points based on the minimum coverage requirements for the mandatory forms of auto insurance in each state and also the percentages of uninsured drivers in those states. In addition, it gave points to the states that required other forms of coverage, such as personal injury protection (PIP), medical payments coverage, or uninsured motorist coverage.

Results of the Report

The report found that Maine is the safest state to be a driver and has the most stringent requirements for auto insurance. It requires minimum bodily injury coverage per person of $50,000 and per accident of $100,000 and minimum property damage coverage per accident of $25,000. Maine was followed closely by North Dakota, New York, Maryland, New Hampshire and Utah for their strict auto insurance requirements.

Florida ranked last on the list for only requiring minimum bodily injury coverage per person of just $10,000 and per accident of $20,000 and minimum property damage coverage per accident of $10,000. Coming in just ahead of Florida at the bottom of the list were Oklahoma, New Mexico, Mississippi, California, and Tennessee.

Other Issues Affecting Driving Risk

Additional factors also affect driver safety in each state, and they were not included in this report. For example, the state laws that govern a driver’s financial liability after an accident vary widely. Fifteen states and D.C. have bans on handheld cell phone use, and 44 states plus D.C. explicitly ban texting on a phone. There is no state that completely bans the use of a cell phone, but some states have said that drivers who cause accidents while distracted may be liable for additional damages.

In Tennessee specifically, the state bans text messaging while driving, teen drivers on cell phones, and school bus drivers on cell phones. However, the state has no statewide handheld cell phone ban, comprehensive distracted driving law, or state preemption on cell phones.

Another differentiating factor is the difference in accidents between rural and urban areas. “Crashes in rural areas tend to be more severe because there are undivided two-lane highways,” says the director of traffic safety research and advocacy at the American Automobile Association. “We also see higher rates of impaired driving in rural states.” Rural areas accounted for 53% of the fatal crashes while urban areas accounted for 46% of the fatal accidents.

Call a Tennessee Personal Injury Attorney

If you or someone that you know has been injured in an auto accident or been pushed by an insurance company to settle their claims in the Nashville area, let the experienced 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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