Distracted Driver

Distracted Driver Accident Attorneys in Memphis

Skilled representation for car crash victims in West Tennessee

Until we can eliminate distracted driving altogether, you and your loved ones are at risk of being injured in a car crash with an inattentive or negligent driver. Even one moment of distraction on the part of a careless driver can change your entire life in an instant. If this happens to you, Bailey & Greer, PLLC will stand by your side to help protect your family and your future.

Our skilled Memphis car accident attorneys have secured the futures of families just like yours in and around West Tennessee who have been hurt when distracted drivers cause serious accidents. You can rely on us to protect your goals and needs in a trial or in settlement negotiations. Our decades of experience allow us to advocate for you in the best way possible. Let us help.

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What is distracted driving?

Distracted driving is a huge traffic safety issue in the United States. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that nine people are killed in distraction-related crashes every day. Further, “over 3,100 people were killed and about 424,000 were injured in crashes involving a distracted driver in 2019.” Those numbers are likely underreported because, unless a person admits that being distracted caused the crash, it is not easy to isolate the cause of a crash.

Many people assume that a distracted driver is one who is using his or her cell phone. While cell phone usage is a major contributor, there are many other reasons a driver can become distracted behind the wheel. Those reasons can include:

  • Navigating with GPS
  • Distraction inside or outside of the vehicle
  • Interference by a passenger, including children in car seats
  • Texting
  • Reading or using a tablet
  • Eating or drinking
  • Fiddling around with the radio
  • Putting on makeup / shaving
  • Road rage

Texting behind the wheel is one of the riskiest distractions because it involves a visual, manual, and cognitive distraction. The insidious thing about texting and driving is that many drivers believe that they can drive safely while they are texting.

Many Americans have become addicted to texting all the time. When they get behind the wheel and traffic is moving slowly, or if they are on a boring stretch of highway, they might think, “what can it hurt to take a quick look at my phone?” An over-inflated ego and confidence in their driving skills convinces them the answer is “nothing at all,” and that’s when innocent people get hurt. It only takes one mistake, one mistimed distraction for tragedy to strike — no matter how good of a driver they think they are.

How common is distracted driving in Tennessee?

Tennessee made texting and driving illegal in 2009 (TN Code Section 55-8-199), yet the number of distracted driving crashes has increased every year since the law became effective. In 2016, 24,743 traffic crashes in Tennessee were distraction-related, and in 2017 there were already 22,700 distracted driving crashes by mid-October. Time did not make anything better, either. 2019 saw almost 24,000 distraction-related crashes here in Tennessee. While 2020 was a much better year, that is largely simply due to a lack of people on the roads while we were locked down.

Whatever the numbers, any amount is a bad amount. People operating large, metal machines at highway speeds should have their focus on that task and that task alone. Even if you are not on a highway, driving is driving, and it can always be dangerous. It can always end poorly. These risks are compounded if both drivers are distracted, because then neither of you have any hope of evasive or defense maneuvers. While attention and quick reflexes cannot always save you from a collision, they certainly give you a better chance.

How can I avoid distracted driving?

Aside from advocating for helpful legislation and public awareness, the best thing you can do as a driver to end distracted driving is simple: don’t drive distracted. Ensuring you do not end up a tragic statistic is the best way to end distracted driving. Sometimes, of course, this is easier said than done. Kids scream and throw things, people keep texting even when there is no emergency, pets have their own ways of being distracting, and sometimes things just happen.

You may not be able to see the future, but by simply taking a few precautions before your drive, you could mitigate most of these distractions before they cause a problem:

  • Put your phone away. Not just in the cupholder next to you or that little cubby under the radio, but entirely away. Safety is more important than any text or call, and putting it out of sight will make the temptation easier to ignore. Many cars also have hands-free phone interfaces, though you should still be careful and use your best judgement before using them.
  • Make sure your GPS is programmed before you start driving, or pull over before doing so. Even in slow-moving traffic, do not try to use your GPS while driving. Make your glances at the map brief and try to rely more on the navigating voice for your directions.
  • Safely secure your children and pets as much as you can before you start driving, and do not wait until an accident happens to pull over. If they start to disrupt your driving, pull over — even just onto the shoulder — to address the issue.
  • Avoid eating behind the wheel, especially when it comes to bigger meals as opposed to a quick snack. You should always be able to use both hands while steering.

Can a Memphis distracted driving accident attorney help with my case?

At Bailey & Greer, we know exactly what kind of consequences a distracted driving accident can have on your life: mounting medical bills, the costs associated with car repairs, lost wages, and the stress of being in pain. Our skilled Memphis litigators take on the profit-centric insurance companies who put their interests before yours in courtrooms and boardrooms throughout West Tennessee.

We fight for your rights and your future. If a distracted driver caused your injuries, we are ready to help.  Trying to embark on this fight alone can be a frustrating process, even when you are in the right. The other side will always have an attorney, because an attorney is the best way to win a case. Law is complicated and complex and requires years of education to navigate successfully, and the last thing you need is to put yourself through that kind of stress when you should be focusing on recovery.

Memphis Personal Injury Lawyers

Is there a distracted driving accident attorney near me?

Bailey & Greer’s main offices are easy to find at 6256 Poplar Avenue, Memphis, TN. We’re near Route 240 and offer off-street parking. We also have offices in Jackson and represent folks throughout West Tennessee. If your injuries are too severe for you to travel, we can make arrangements to visit you or meet via video chat.

Help for those who have been injured in Memphis distracted driving accidents

It only takes a moment for a distracted driver to cause an accident. The injury attorneys at Bailey & Greer, PLLC, offer you the advice you need and the rigorous advocacy you deserve after you or your family member suffer an injury in a car crash in West Tennessee. To speak with a dedicated car accident attorney about your case, please call 901-475-7434 or fill out our contact form. We maintain offices in both Memphis and Jackson for your convenience.

Bailey & Greer Team