Texting while Driving Accidents
Texting while driving is an obviously dangerous distraction, and the State of Tennessee is taking legal action to help curb this treacherous trend. The Hands Free Tennessee campaign was launched to help educate drivers about the newly minted hands free driving law that went into effect in Tennessee on July 1, 2019. Texting while driving is among the most dangerous distractions, and it’s this new law’s intention to help eradicate the problem.
Tennessee Leads States in Distracted Driving Fatalities
Distracted driving is a serious problem all across our nation, but the State of Tennessee leads all other states in its number of distracted driving fatalities according to a recent study from 2015 to 2017. In fact, at 7.2 such deaths per 10 billion vehicle miles, it comes in at nearly five times the nation’s average – and it is more than twice as high as the next most dangerous state for distracted driving (Delaware). The study found that those states with the strictest distracted driving laws consistently had the lowest scores, and Tennessee is addressing this with a hands free law.
Texting while Driving
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted driving amounts to engaging in any activity that diverts a driver’s attention away from his or her primary task of driving safely. Distracted driving can involve any number of extraneous activities, including:
- Tuning in your stereo
- Setting your GPS
- Talking or texting on your phone
- Eating and drinking
- Conversing with passengers in your vehicle
NHTSA, however, relays that texting is the most alarming distraction. When a driver sends or receives a text, his or her eyes leave the road for about 5 seconds, which – at highway speeds – amounts to driving blind for the length of a football field. Drivers who text behind the wheel endanger everyone with whom they share the road.
Tennessee’s Hands Free Law
Tennessee’s new hands free law makes it illegal to interact with your smartphone in several specific ways while behind the wheel, including:
- Holding your phone with any part of your body
- Writing, reading, or sending any communication that is text-based
- Reaching for your phone in a way that requires you to move out of your seated driving position or not to be properly restrained by your seatbelt
- Watching a movie or video – or recording a video – on your smartphone
You are, however, legally allowed to use your GPS for navigation purposes if your phone is securely mounted in a spot that’s convenient for safe viewing. Using one swipe to turn a feature on or off is also permitted.
If You’ve Been Injured by a Texting Driver, Consult with an Experienced Nashville Personal Injury Lawyer Today
If another motorist’s distraction causes you or someone you care about to be injured, you are going through a difficult time and may not know where to turn. The dedicated personal injury attorneys at Bednarz Law in Nashville are committed to skillfully advocating on your behalf for the compensation to which you are entitled. Our experienced legal team has the compassion, commitment, and knowledge to help, so please contact or call us for more information today.