Whenever we choose to operate any sort of motor vehicle, we have a duty to do so as safely as possible. Cars of any size can be deadly in a collision, and even motorcycles pose a threat in an accident. Heavy metal and speed is a dangerous combination. That is why drivers’ education classes and licensing exist, after all.
Unfortunately, accidents still happen, and they largely happen due to some form of driver error. A common occurrence is a driver taking their attention off the road for some reason, meaning they don’t notice other vehicles in time to avoid them. When someone makes the choice to shirk their duty of safe driving, they endanger everyone in the area (including themselves).
How much of a problem is distracted driving in Tennessee?
Texting and driving may be the most common form of distracted driving, but it is not the only way to lose a dangerous amount of attention on the road. We do mean dangerous, too. Drivers using their phones, hands-free or not, are four times likelier to be involved in a crash.
Tennessee actually ranks the worst in the nation regarding distracted driving fatalities. Distracted driving itself is the fourth highest cause of driver-error accidents in the state. It accounted for more than 22,000 vehicle crashes in 2021, and 7,288 of them were in Shelby County. According to the Tennessee Department of Transportation, there’s a distracted driver crash once every 24 minutes in our state.
It is all too common for people to feel a false sense of confidence in their ability to “multitask,” but the fact of the matter is that anything that takes one’s attention off the road is a dangerous distraction. Aside from using a phone, other forms of distracted driving include fiddling with the radio, programming a GPS, eating, or even turning to face passengers. The slightest lapse in attention can have deadly results simply because of how fast you’re going and how much care it takes to make a heavy piece of metal stop in time. If it takes your hands off the wheel, eyes off the road, or mind off of driving, it is a distraction to avoid as much as possible.
Are there laws against distracted driving in Tennessee?
Tennessee has laws against using a phone and driving. Specifically, it is illegal to do any of the following while operating a motor vehicle:
- Physically hold and use your phone (though you can use your smartwatch, your car, an earpiece, or go hands free for calls)
- Send texts, emails, or other types of written messages
- Grab your phone from a part of your car that would require you to remove your seat belt
- Watch movies or videos
- Shoot videos or do other recordings
But since those other forms of distraction we discussed are not technically illegal, drivers can engage in any of them. That means they still remain major problems across the state.
Holding distracted drivers accountable for a Memphis car accident
Proving negligence is everything in a car accident personal injury case. Victims have to act quickly (within one year) to file a lawsuit against the reckless party, but they should still always make sure to hire an experienced Memphis personal injury attorney to help them. The other side will be trying to do everything they possibly can to avoid accepting responsibility, including trying to frame you as the negligent driver, and they will absolutely have their own attorney helping them do that. At Bailey & Greer, we will review all aspects of the crash to ensure that we can prove the other driver’s negligence. This may include:
- Reviewing police reports, surveillance videos, social media posts and photos of the scene
- Analyzing your medical records and treatment to show the severity of your injuries
- Working with accident reconstructionist to prove how the crash occurred
- Seeking black box data (where applicable) and phone data from the other driver to show their actions in the moments before the accident
Once we prove that the other driver or applicable third parties are at fault for the accident, we can make a claim for damages. Considering car accident injuries can be incredibly serious traumas that take years — or even lifetimes — to recover from, having all those medical bills, medications, therapies, accommodations, repairs, and lost wages compensated for can be the only way you and your family avoid bankruptcy. No victim should ever have to worry about such a thing, especially while suffering the physical and mental pain of their injuries.
The good news is that personal injury attorneys also take the heavy lifting of court off your shoulders. Not only does this mean attending court dates on your behalf, it also means working tirelessly to build and strengthen your case while letting you rest as much as possible. At Bailey & Greer, PLLC, our Memphis personal injury attorneys take pride in helping victims and their families receive the compensation they deserve while letting them focus on themselves. With an additional Jackson office, it is our goal to help as many victims as we can. To get started, call us today at 901-475-7434 or use our contact form. Put your future in hands you can trust.
Since graduating magna cum laude in 2005 from the University of Memphis School of Law, Thomas has helped make a difference in the lives of victims of serious personal injury, wrongful death, and professional negligence. Thomas has extensive trial experience in both state and federal court. Among other victories in the courtroom, Thomas obtained several impressive jury verdicts and settlements
Read more about Thomas R. Greer