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The Number of Distracted Driving Crashes in Tennessee Reaches Record High

In December 2015, the Kuck family was struck by a driver on Highway 50, which severely injured the family’s youngest daughter and killed one one of the family’s daughters. The Tennessee Highway Patrol has reported that distracted driving is one of the main focuses of the investigation. Distracted driving refers to operating a motor vehicle while an individual is using a cellular phone or other electronic device. The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security’s research reveals that 51 automobile crash related fatalities occurred last year due to distracted driving. In 2015, the number of crashes involving distracted driving in Tennessee reached the record high of 22,964. In Nashville’s Dickson County, the number of crashes due to distracted driving rose from 86 in 2006 to 139 in 2016. Furthermore, the National Safety Council has demonstrated that Tennessee is the state with the highest rate of fatal automobile crashes. This article will examine several reasons behind Tennessee’s high number of distracted driving accidents.

Distracted Driving Laws in Tennessee

One of the factors contributing towards Tennessee’s high rate of automobile crashes due to distracted drivers involves Tennessee’s current laws regarding the subject. Tennessee bans cellular phone use for many drivers and texting for all drivers. Tennessee, however, lacks laws increasing the penalties faced by repeat offenders of texting. Drivers also only receive moving point violations if the drivers are cited for committing other traffic violations at the same time the texting offense is charged. This lack of strict laws regarding distracted driving in Tennessee likely contributes to the high rate of distracted driving crashes in the state. Fortunately, in March of 2016, the Tennessee House of Representatives voted in favor of a bill that would increase the penalties paid by drivers who are caught texting while driving.

Misconceptions About Distracted Driving

One of the other reasons why Tennessee is currently faced with an increase in the number of distracted driving-related accidents is that many misconceptions exist among automobile drivers concerning distracted driving. Listed below are some essential pieces of information that drivers should remember regarding driving in Tennessee.

  • Hands-Free Device Usage Is Dangerous. While using a hands-free headset while driving a vehicle greatly reduces the risk of becoming involved in an accident, statistics suggest that using a hands-free device while driving can still result in accidents.
  • Texting While Driving Is Hazardous No Matter the Circumstances. Even drivers who claim to not look at or use cell phones while driving are still dangerous. A driver’s focus in addition to physical abilities must be focused on the road while driving.
  • Distracted Driving Is Not Only A Problem Among Young People. Contrary to the belief that only teenagers get into accidents due to distracted driving, adults of all ages all vulnerable to accidents due to distracted driving.
  • Using GPS on a Phone Is Not Okay While Driving. Trying to drive with one hand while holding a smartphone providing directions to one’s destination in the other hand can greatly increase the number of accidents. Instead, drivers should opt to use voice guided direction.

Nashville Accident Attorneys

Distracted driving is a cause of driving that unfortunately can lead to catastrophic results. At Calhoun Law, PLC in Tennessee, our car accident attorneys are skilled at helping to make sure that individuals who are injured due to distracted drivers receive the compensation that is deserved.

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