Bill Restricting Cell Phone Usage in School Zones Passes in State Senate

Posted in Car Accident,Distracted Driving on May 8, 2017

A bill proposing a ban on cell phone usage in school zones throughout the state recently passed in the Senate and is expected to pass in the House, but its co-sponsors already want a tougher bill that would be more widespread in its enforcement.

WKRN.com reports that the amended bill currently under consideration would ban anyone under 18 from using cell phones in active school zones and require adults 18 and older to use hands-free devices when using cell phones in those areas.

One of the bill’s co-sponsors said that his nieces have been involved in accidents due to cell phone usage, and that while some people may view the bill as taking away their freedoms, the ban could help save lives.

While this bill is expected to pass the next round of consideration, a more widespread version, which would apply those same restrictions to drivers on all roadways in Tennessee, was unable to make progress during the 2017 legislative session.

How Can You Reduce Your Distracted Driving Risks?

Distracted driving is a growing epidemic, and distracted drivers face significant risks whether they’re driving on high-speed interstates, passing through school zones, or even looking for a place to park in parking lots. One of the most common causes of distraction behind the wheel is cell phone usage—especially sending and receiving text messages.

You can reduce your distracted driving risks by following these tips:

  • Send texts and make phone calls before and after your trips.

If you need to send a text message, read a text message, or make a phone call, plan to do so before you leave or after you arrive at your destination. And if you need to contact someone while you’re driving, pull over to a safe location to send the text message or place the phone call.

  • Pull over if you need to reach anything in your vehicle.

While you’re driving, you may need to get something out of your glove box, backseat, or other area of your vehicle that’s slightly out of reach. Never try to reach for items while your vehicle is moving, as doing so takes your focus and concentration off the task of driving. Instead, pull over in a safe location and grab the items you need after your vehicle has come to a complete a stop.

  • Avoid listening to music at high volumes.

It’s important to keep your eyes on the road, but being able to hear what’s going on around you is just as important. Loud music can make it difficult or impossible to hear vital sound cues that help you drive safely, including emergency vehicles, other drivers using their horns, and the sounds of other vehicle engines.

  • Never eat, read, or put on makeup while driving.

People are busier than ever, and that means some drivers try to multi-task, especially during their morning commutes. It’s not uncommon to see drivers eating, reading, working, or even putting on makeup while they’re behind the wheel, but those tasks are distracting and can significantly increase the risk of an accident.

It’s important for drivers to know that in addition to avoiding anything that impairs their ability to see or hear the roadway and vehicles around them, they should also avoid multi-tasking while driving. Many people are conditioned to multi-task due to the demands of home and work, but doing so behind the wheel is a major risk factor for serious crashes.

Unfortunately, many drivers still engage in behaviors that result in major distractions—and that can cause people like you be seriously injured in accidents. If you or someone you know was hurt in a crash that was caused by a negligent driver, contact the Nashville auto accident lawyers at Matt Hardin Law today. We have more than two decades of experience fighting for the rights of injured victims like you, and we know what it takes to build claims that get results.

Dial (615) 200-1111 or complete a free online consultation form to speak with us.