The Lawyers of Brown & Roberto have seen a disturbing trend regarding injuries involved in Tennessee car accidents. In the last five to ten years we have seen an increase in our clients who have been seriously injured in car accidents where the “at fault driver” was using a cell phone at the time of the collision. It is always important to remember that a distracted driver is a dangerous driver, whatever that distraction may be. Distracted driving can be deadly.
The increase in distracted drivers that we have seen is supported by research published in the Los Angeles Times in September of last year. According to a study from the University of North Texas Health Science Center in Fort Worth, distracted drivers who were texting while driving caused 16,141 deaths between 2002 and 2007. To view the article visit: http://articles.latimes.com/2010/sep/24/news/la-heb-distracted-driving-20100924. The study showed that the percentage of all traffic deaths caused by distracted drivers increased from 11% in 1999 to 16% in 2008. Talking on the phone while driving can increase the likelihood of being involved in an accident. In fact, some studies have associated the level of distraction from talking on a phone while driving to that of an alcohol impaired driver. However, studies have shown that Texting while driving can dramatically increase the likelihood of being involved in an accident. The significant risk to yourself and other drivers involved in texting while driving, lead the State of Tennessee to criminalize texting while driving in July 2009.
The 2009 Tennessee law prohibits the use of a hand held mobile telephone or hand-held personal digital assistant to transmit or read a written message. This does not include reading, selecting, or entering a telephone number for the purpose of making or receiving a telephone call. The law only applies to vehicles in motion at the time the message is read or transmitted. Violation of this law is a Class C misdemeanor subject to a fine of $50 and court costs. Further, the law does not apply to officers of the State, campus police, public safety officers, Emergency medical technicians, firefighters, and emergency management officers when in the actual discharge of their duties.
Please do your part and keep all of our family, friends, and neighbors safe on the roads by limiting any distractions while you are driving. If you’ve been involved in an accident and need to speak with a lawyer, visit www.BrownandRoberto.com or call us today.The information provided in this post is not intended as legal advice but rather as information for Tennesseans to become better informed regarding personal injury claims in Tennessee. As there are many variables involved in automobile accidents, readers of this post are strongly encourage to seek the advice of a licensed Tennessee attorney before relying on any of the information contained in this post or this Blog.