Articles Posted in Distracted Driving

A spokesperson with the Tennessee Department of Transportation says that anywhere from 300,000 people to more than one million people could come to Middle Tennessee to view the solar eclipse next month, and the agency is concerned about large numbers of drivers stopping in the middle of the road when the event occurs.

Per a report by WKRN.com, Middle Tennessee is directly in the path of totality of the eclipse, which will happen on August 21. The TDOT spokesperson says that the agency views the event as being like Bonnaroo or the CMA Festival due to the large crowds that it will attract and the impact that it will have on interstates and highways in the area.

She went on to say that drivers who stop in the road or even on shoulders could pose dangers to themselves and other drivers by increasing the risk of accidents. Drivers who pull over to shoulders to watch the eclipse block paths for emergency personnel, especially if they’re responding to traffic incidents.

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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.

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A report prepared for the Governors Highway Safety Association revealed that fatal pedestrian accidents increased by 11 percent nationwide in 2016, and distracted driving played the biggest role in the increase.

Per a report by the Associated Press and WKRN.com, nearly 6,000 people were killed in the U.S. while walking on or near roadways, making 2016 the deadliest year for pedestrians in more than two decades.

In addition to distracted driving, other factors causing pedestrian fatalities include an improved economy and lower gas prices, leading to more vehicles on the roadway, and more people choosing to walk for exercise and to reduce environmental impact.

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Proposed Bill Would Allow Officers to Check Phones for Texting and Driving

Distracted driving is an epidemic on roadways throughout the country, and a bill proposed by Tennessee State Senator Lee Harris, D-Memphis, would allow law enforcement officers to check drivers’ phones to determine if they sent text messages while behind the wheel.

Per a report by WSMV.com, officers currently aren’t allowed to ask to see drivers’ phones if they initiate traffic stops for suspected distracted driving. Because they can’t see the phones, they can’t obtain proof that drivers were texting, making it more difficult to prove in court. Many officers instead charge drivers with “due care” violations.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol issued 125 citations for texting and driving in Davidson County in 2016 and 13,549 across the entire state. In 2017 alone, troopers have issued nearly 1,000 citations for both texting and driving and due care violations.

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Child Injured in Potential Distracted Driving Accident in South Nashville

An accident that may have been caused due to distracted driving resulted in a 4-year-old child suffering injuries.

WKRN.com reports that the accident occurred in South Nashville on Ezell Road at Melmack Drive at around midnight on Monday.

Metro Nashville Police say that the vehicle that the child was riding in crashed into a wall near the roadway. After an investigation of the accident, police identified the driver as the grandmother of the child that was injured during the accident.

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Bridgestone Americas Provides Safe Driving Lessons for Teens and Young Drivers

Teens and young drivers between the ages of 15 and 21 with a valid driver’s license or learner’s permit were able to participate in Bridgestone Americas Teen Drive Smart event at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville this weekend.

According to a report by WKRN.com, the young drivers who took part in the event received classroom instruction and interactive driving exercises that were designed to help them make smart decisions while they’re behind the wheel.

A young driver who participated in the program says that it helps drivers his age develop better safe driving skills and strategies for avoiding accidents on the roadway.

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TN House Votes in Favor of Bill to Increase Fines for Texting while Driving

Members of the Tennessee House of Representatives voted in favor of a bill that would increase the penalties levied on drivers who are caught texting while they’re behind the wheel.

According to a report by WSMV.com, the bill, which is sponsored by Rep. Ron Lollar, R-Bartlett, passed on a 52-36 vote. The measure needed at least 50 votes to clear the House chamber. It will now move to the Senate, where it will be voted on tomorrow.

People who are caught texting while driving in Tennessee currently face a $50 fine because it’s considered a non-moving traffic law violation. However, if the bill is passed and becomes law, texting while driving will become a moving violation, which means drivers who are caught will be required to attend driver education courses and incur a penalty of four points on their driver’s licenses.

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Emergency Responders Create Crash Scenario for Page High School Students

Emergency responders from across Williamson County participated in a mock crash scenario at Page High School in Franklin, Tennessee, on Friday to help demonstrate the dangers of texting and driving for students.

According to a report by WKRN.com, the scenario involved a student who was texting while driving before crashing into another vehicle. The student actors simulated suffering serious injuries as a result of the accident, while the driver of the other vehicle simulated suffering fatal injuries.

A paramedic who participated in the mock crash scenario told reporters that she hopes students witnessing the scenario will catch their attention and make them more aware of the dangers of texting and driving.

Cohen Children’s Hospital in New York performed research that found more teens are killed in accidents caused by texting and driving than accidents caused by drinking and driving.

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10 Vehicles Involved in Two Pile-Ups on I-24 in Montgomery County

Two separate accidents near Clarksville, Tennessee, caused 10 vehicles to sustain damage in major pile-up collisions Tuesday morning on Interstate 24.

According to a report by Clarksville Now, the first accident involving three separate vehicles occurred around 8:23 a.m. in the eastbound lanes of I-24 near mile marker 10.

I-40 Weekend Closures Scheduled As Fast Fix 8 Project Nears Completion

The Tennessee Department of Transportation’s Fast Fix 8 project will be around 90 percent complete after this weekend’s scheduled repairs are completed.

According to wkrn.com, the road work will begin on Interstate 40 at 8 p.m. Friday evening and last through 6 a.m. Monday morning. This weekend’s work will take place on Charlotte Avenue as road crews work to remove and replace the I-40 eastbound bridge over that road.

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