Just a few weeks ago, a serious accident ended the life of one Tennessean and sent three others to the hospital. According to a report by the local NBC affiliate, a Chevrolet Cruze was heading west on U.S. Highway 321 when a Chevrolet Astro Van pulled out in front of it, just off of Endsley Quarry Road. As the van pulled in front of the car, the car crashed into the van, sending both vehicles into the median.
The driver of the van was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the Cruze, as well as her two passengers survived the accident, but were taken to the hospital with serious injuries. Both drivers were wearing their seatbelts; however, the two back-seat passengers in the Cruze were not.
Distracted Driving is Dangerous Driving
This accident is a perfect example of how dangerous distracted driving can be. In Tennessee alone, there were 56 deaths attributed to distracted driving. Indeed, with the increase in accidents caused by distracted drivers, the term has become a buzz word over the past few years, especially with the increase in cell phone use. In fact, some of the most common forms of distracted driving involve cell phones: talking and texting while driving.
Tennessee Laws on Driving and Cell Phone Use
Like most states, Tennessee regulates the cell phone use of drivers. In Tennessee it is illegal to use a cell phone to text message while operating a vehicle. However, it is not illegal to use the phone to talk if you have a hands-free device, unless you are a school bus driver or a minor with a provisional license.
It is also illegal to use video monitors in motor vehicles if the intent of the monitor is to provide entertainment to the driver. However, if the primary use is for a rear-seat passenger, video monitors are permissible.
The Purpose Behind Making Texting Illegal
When the Tennessee Legislature enacted the “texting ban,” it hoped to curb the ever-increasing deaths due to distracted driving. While the law is not a be-all end-all solution to the problem that has largely been ingrained in the minds of many Tennesseans, it is a step in the right direction.
A Tennessee accident victim who can show that the other driver was distracted, perhaps through the introduction of cell-phone records, may have a better chance of convincing the jury that the other driver was indeed negligent. After all, if the legislature enacted the law to prevent deaths and protect other drivers, the fact that a driver was texting while driving goes a long way in proving their negligence.
What To Do if You Have Been Involved in a Tennessee Car Accident
If you or a loved one has been involved in a Tennessee car accident that you believe may have been due to the distracted driving of another, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. To find out more about the laws of negligence in Tennessee, contact an experienced Tennessee personal injury attorney as soon as possible. With an attorney’s help, you can better determine what course of action will be best for you and your family. Click here, or call 615-200-1111 today to speak to a dedicated personal injury attorney.
See Related Blog Posts:
Honda Bike and ATV Safety Questioned, Nashville Injury Lawyer’s Blog, published November 1, 2012.
Meningitis Outbreak: Ten Deaths in Tennessee, Nashville Injury Lawyer’s Blog, published October 25, 2012.