According to a new report, Tennessee is worst in the nation for distracted driving accidents. Distracted driving car accident deaths in Tennessee are almost five times the national average. In just two years, Tennessee had more than 1,400 fatalities that were directly attributable to distracted driving accidents. When we hear distracted driving, most of us automatically think about texting and driving but it is more than that. It can be anything that keeps you from giving your full time and attention to driving such as putting on make-up while driving.
Unbelievably, from 2015 to 2017, Tennessee drivers and drivers in four other states were responsible for roughly 31% of all distracted driving deaths. That number is almost certainly higher because many drivers do not self-report and sometimes it is not obvious to investigators that distracted driving was the culprit in an accident. Actually, that is not exactly right. When we say, “distracted driving was the culprit”, it sounds like it was some outside force like the flu. The reality is those deaths were caused by a driver, a human being, using their phone or doing something else while operating their vehicle. This is not some outside force. This is us as drivers making the wrong decision. We have to stop it. Here are some tips on how you can avoid making this wrong decision.
- If you don’t trust yourself, turn your phone off or use your phone’s Do Not Disturb feature or an app that automatically responds for you when a text comes in. On my phone, anyone who texts me while I am driving gets a message that says: “I’m driving with Do Not Disturb While Driving turned on. I’ll see your message when I get where I’m going turn it completely off while driving.” If it does not ring, ding, or beep, you are less likely to reach for it.
- Ladies, put your make-up on before you leave or once you get to your destination.
- For younger drivers, keep the number of passengers to the bare minimum. Passengers increase the risk of distraction for teens. For instance, male teens driving with passengers are six times more likely to be involved in a crash and twice as likely to drive aggressively than if they were driving alone.
- Secure pets before leaving for your destination.
- If a child needs your attention, pull over and help them with whatever they need as opposed to trying to do it while driving.
We can and must do better, Tennessee. We owe it to ourselves, our passengers and others on the road.
If you think you have an injury or wrongful death case because of a distracted driver, we urge you to get our free evaluation. Simply call our office and we will review your case and let you know if we think we can help. If we think we can help you and you decide to hire us, our award-winning lawyers will handle your distracted driving accident case on a contingency basis, which means we only get paid if we recover money for you. We have three office locations in Middle Tennessee, and we will come to you at your home or hospital if you need us. Call us today!