Chattanooga Distracted Driving Accidents
Distracted driving is an extremely dangerous behavior. Whether a driver is texting behind the wheel, talking on the cell phone or fiddling with the radio, anything that pulls his or her attention from the road has the potential to put lives in jeopardy. Unfortunately, this happens all too frequently in Tennessee.
Tennessee consistently leads the nation in distracted driving deaths. According to the Department of Safety and Homeland Security, there were a staggering 209,144 distracted driving accidents in Tennessee during a recent decade.
To combat the problem, the state has enacted laws to restrict the use of handheld devices while driving. But you don’t have to look hard to find someone beside you in traffic reading an email or sending a text. That means that you — and every motorist along with you — is at risk of being involved in a crash.
Chattanooga car accident victims may be entitled to personal injury compensation to help cover medical costs, lost income, property damage and pain and suffering if they’ve been hit by a distracted driver. If you’ve been injured, it’s important to talk with an experienced car accident attorney as soon as possible.
The Davis Law Firm, LLC, provides customized legal services to car accident victims in Chattanooga and the surrounding Tennessee communities.
Contact us today for a free consultation.
What is Distracted Driving?
Distracted driving is any activity that takes a driver’s attention off the road. It is most commonly linked to cell phone use, but there are many other types of distractions for motorists as well.
Distractions are classified in three ways:
- Visual distractions are those that take your eyes off the road. This can include looking at a navigational system or a cell phone or looking away to change the radio station.
- Manual distractions are those that take your hands off of the steering wheel. These distractions include grooming, eating or looking for something within the vehicle.
- Cognitive distractions are those that take your mind off the road, such as talking to another passenger or thinking about things that you need to do.
Oftentimes, distractions fall into all categories simultaneously. For example, if you’re looking for something in the vehicle, you may take your hands off the wheel to search for it, take your eyes off the road to look and be more concerned about finding it than you are about the road in front of you.
Common Types of Driving Distractions
The most common causes of distracted driving include:
- Texting: According to the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, motorists that text and drive are 23 times more likely to be involved in an accident than drivers that keep their focus on the road.
- Cell phones: Talking on the phone can lead a driver to become more absorbed in the conversation than on what’s happening on the road.
- Eating and drinking: Opening snack packages and taking your hands off the wheel to take a sip of a drink can be all it takes to swerve into another lane and strike another car.
- Navigation systems: Using GPS systems has become the standard in most vehicles. In Tennessee, you can use a GPS on your phone if it is mounted. If it falls off, you are not permitted to retrieve it without pulling over.
We Can Help if a Distracted Driver Injured You
Distracted driving is a form of negligence in Tennessee. When negligent drivers cause an accident by giving in to distractions behind the wheel, they can be held liable for paying damages so accident victims can recover the costs associated with their car accident injuries.
One of the biggest hurdles to overcome in any car accident claim is convincing the at-fault driver’s insurance company that you are entitled to compensation for your catastrophic injuries. Insurance adjusters are trained to minimize the severity of a victim’s claim to avoid making fair payouts. That’s why it’s important to speak with a knowledgeable car accident attorney before trying to settle a claim yourself.
At the Davis Law Firm, LLC, our lawyers can handle negotiations with the insurance company for you. We will launch a thorough investigation into your accident claim and collect the evidence necessary to prove why you deserve maximum compensation for your losses.
At our Chattanooga law firm, we will take care of every detail of your case, from filing your claim to negotiating with the insurance companies and at-fault parties. We prepare every case as if it is going to trial. That way, we’ll be ready to take the case to court right away if settlement negotiations break down.
Distracted Driving Vs. Drunk Driving — Which is More Dangerous?
It’s been said that distracted driving has become the new drunk driving today. Is that true, though? It depends on how you look at it.
Nationally speaking, drunk driving still takes more lives than distracted driving every year. However, the annual number of distracted driving accidents far outweighs those of drunk driving crashes. This means that while more people are killed in drunk driving crashes, more people are injured in distracted driving accidents.
It also depends on other factors, such as the age of those involved in the two types of accidents. Distracted driving is the most fatal driving behavior for teens, although the dangers are certainly not limited to only young people.
Tennessee’s Distracted Driving Laws
Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that Tennessee’s distracted driving fatality rate is five times higher than the national average of 1.49 deaths for every 10 billion vehicle miles. Many have speculated that the rate is so high because the state doesn’t have any strict laws regarding distracted driving.
In Tennessee, it is illegal to text or even holds a cell phone behind the wheel. There are also age-based restrictions for younger drivers and those with provisional licenses.
Call Our Tennessee Car Accident Lawyers Today
If you’ve been injured by a distracted driver, it’s important to know that you have legal options. At the Davis Law Firm, LLC, our Chattanooga car accident lawyers can help. We’ll fight for the compensation that you deserve.
When you work with us, you can count on getting dedicated, skilled legal support from battle-tested trial lawyers. We know what it takes to win a case and will do everything in our power to reach a full and fair resolution for you.
Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.