Tennessee Drivers Are the Most Distracted in the Nation

Posted in Car Accident,Distracted Driving on April 20, 2019

Distracted driving is rapidly becoming an auto accident-causing epidemic throughout the U.S., and no state is being hit harder by this growing problem than Tennessee. A recent study found that Tennessee ranks first out of all 50 states for distracted driving deaths from 2015 to 2017. The Volunteer State’s rate for fatal distracted driving-related auto accidents was nearly five times the national average during that time period.

The study also found that states with the strictest laws against distracted driving tended to have the lowest levels of distracted driving accident deaths. In response to the growing problem in Tennessee, a bill was recently introduced in the state legislature that would make it illegal to talk on a handheld cellphone at any point while drivers are behind the wheel. It’s currently illegal for drivers to text and drive or talk on cellphones while driving through marked school zones.

At Matt Hardin Law, our Nashville auto accident lawyers know how dangerous drivers are when their eyes and minds aren’t on the road ahead. When distracted drivers cause accidents, we hold them responsible for their victims’ damages. If you or someone you love was hurt in a crash that was caused by a negligent driver, we want to help. Contact us today at (615) 200-1111 or by completing a free online consultation form.

Reduce Your Distracted Driving Risks by Following These Tips

Distracted driving is something that affects almost all drivers from time to time. Whether it’s a ringing phone, a conversation with a passenger, or an item falling into the floorboard, it can be difficult to keep your attention on the road 100 percent of the time with zero distractions. But the more you can eliminate or reduce distractions, the safer you and your passengers will be.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind to reduce your risks of causing a distracted driving-related accident:

  • Setup an automated response for text messages while you’re driving—Many modern phones can tell if you’re driving. They also include features that allow users to setup automatic responses to text messages that they receive while they’re behind the wheel. Using that feature can help you avoid reading or sending text messages while you’re driving, keeping you and other motorists safer on Tennessee’s roadways. You’ll still receive text messages sent to you, but you won’t be able to read them until you reach your destination.
  • Make phone calls before and after you drive—Distracted driving campaigns often focus on texting while driving, and for good reason—drivers can travel the length of a football field in the time to takes to read or send one text message. But talking on the phone can be just as distracting. If you need to make a call, do so before you get behind the wheel or after you reach your destination. If the call can’t wait, pull over to a safe location first and make the call when your vehicle is stopped.
  • Don’t rubberneck near accident scenes or traffic stops—Flashing lights are meant to draw our attention, but they shouldn’t distract you from your primary focus while you’re driving—watching the road ahead. Rubbernecking refers to drivers looking away from where their vehicles are traveling and instead gazing at accident scenes or traffic stops. If your eyes aren’t on the road, your chances of being involved in everything from a fender bender to a serious head-on collision increase significantly.
  • Avoid multitasking—Driving can be routine and monotonous, especially if you drive the same route to work every day. But no matter how well you know your daily commute, you should never take your safety or your ability to drive without incident for granted. That means avoiding multitasking behind the wheel to save time in the mornings or evenings. Examples of dangerous multitasking include eating, reading or sending emails, and personal grooming.
  • Secure items in your vehicle before driving—A rolling bottle, a falling grocery bag, or a rattling change jar can drive you crazy and make you want to reach for them at the next available opportunity. But reaching for loose or moving items while you’re behind the wheel is a recipe for disaster. Keep your vehicle free from loose and unsecured items whenever possible. When you load new items into your car, such as grocery bags, place them in a manner where they will be less likely to shift or fall over when you turn or use your brakes.

It’s important to remember that you don’t even need to take your eyes off the road to increase your risks of being involved in a crash. Anything that takes your focus off of driving, even briefly, counts as a distraction. And when you’re not fully paying attention to the road, you’re not driving safely—and that can result in serious accidents.

Here’s How We Can Help If You Were Hurt in a Distracted Driving Crash

The Nashville auto accident lawyers at Matt Hardin Law have seen firsthand the devastating effects that distracted driving has on innocent victims and families throughout Middle Tennessee. We know how widespread and far-reaching the problem is in the Volunteer State, and that’s why we’re dedicated to helping victims get the legal representation they deserve after being injured in crashes caused by negligent drivers.

When you contact our office and we take on your claim, we’ll take the following steps to help you get the money you need:

  • We’ll prove the other driver was negligent—Whether the other driver was texting while driving, speeding, or driving while impaired, we’ll leave no doubt about what caused your crash.
  • We’ll determine how much the accident will cost you—Auto accidents aren’t cheap. Victims face expensive medical bills and weeks or even months away from work. We’ll calculate every penny that you’ll lose due to the crash, and we’ll fight to help you get it.
  • We’ll deal with the insurance company—When you’re injured, the last thing you want to do is talk to the insurance company. Whether it’s letters, emails, text messages, or phone calls, we’ll handle all communication with them on your behalf.

You’ve got enough on your plate already after being hurt by a negligent driver. Get in touch with our law firm today and let us put our experience and track record of success to work for you and your loved ones. Contact us at (615) 200-1111.