Despite public awareness and the efforts of law enforcement agencies, driving while being distracted is a significant problem in Tennessee and throughout the United States, leading to severe and life-threatening car accidents and injuries.
Distracted driving is defined as any activity that distracts you from driving, such as using a cell phone, texting, adjusting GPS settings, eating and drinking behind the wheel, or talking to co-passengers.
Center for Disease Control and Prevention data shows that the most significant cause of car accidents in the United States is a distraction, affecting more than a thousand drivers and their passengers every day, causing severe and life-threatening injuries. Unfortunately, while this is a problem all around the country, news reports have shown that drivers in Tennessee are the worst in this regard.
According to a News Channel 5 report in February 2017, such accidents have reached epidemic proportions, and that cell phone-related deaths are on the rise. The state of Tennessee leads the country total.
In 2016, more than 40,000 motor vehicle deaths occurred in the U.S. This was a 14 percent increase from two years ago and the most significant increase in fatalities in 40 years. The Tennessee Highway Patrol attributes some part of this increase to being distracted while driving.
As part of its report, the WRCB TV conducted an investigation, observing drivers from an overpass in Nashville during morning rush hours; they saw more than 40 incidents of distracted drivers in less than three minutes.
How is Tennessee working to stop distracted driving?
Even with the ban on texting, the penalties for discouraging drivers are not as severe. The fine is between 10 and 50 dollars, and the fine does not include any points on the driver's license. To increase penalties, the Tennessee Highway Patrol has begun booking distracted drivers for failure to exercise due care, which can be fined up to 500 dollars.
The textalyzer bill, reported by Nashville Public Radio, allows law enforcement to inspect drivers' phones at crash sites to determine if they were texting or calling in the moments leading to the crash.
A bus used by the Tennessee Highway Patrol provides the officers a higher frame of reference to locate distracted drivers. The officers report it to the Metro police officers, who arrest the driver based on the information provided.
April is designated as Tennessee Driving Prevention Month. Meanwhile, the Tennessee Governor's Office of Highway Safety encourages the community to participate in its social media campaign by sharing facts and information about the dangers of distracted driving on Facebook and Twitter.
So, while driving in Nashville, always be wary of distracted drivers. As often are the case, you can be a victim of an accident not by your fault but by someone else.
Suppose you or someone you know is injured in a driving accident. In that case, you should always know a good Nashville car accident lawyer who understands the devastating effects of these accidents and would be willing to work aggressively to help you recover the psychological and monetary loss you have incurred.