Tennessee bans texting and driving but drivers are ignoring it

by | Jan 23, 2015

In 2009, Tennessee became the ninth state in the nation to prohibit motorists from texting and driving, according to The Tennessean. Unfortunately, the ban has not decreased the number of people who are killed or injured each year in distracted driving car accidents involving cellphones, as many Clarksville auto accident attorneys have seen. Statistics from the National Safety Council show that in 2011, 10.6 percent of all traffic accidents in Tennessee involved drivers who were using their cellphones. While 71 people were killed in distracted driving accidents involving cellular devices in 2010, the number rose to 93 deaths in 2011.

Texting and driving causes auto accidents

A 17-year-old faces charges of texting while driving and failure to exercise due care after he slammed into a law enforcement officer’s vehicle head-on, according to WRCB News. Both the officer and the teen driver involved in the accident were sent to the hospital with minor injuries, and are extremely fortunate to escape the incident with their lives. Tennessee Highway Patrol found that the young boy had allegedly sent a text message two minutes before the accident took place. This may explain why the boy turned his steering wheel just in time to collide with the officer who was traveling in the opposite direction.

Clarksville auto accident attorneys are no strangers to handling texting crashes. WRCB News reported that even an auto body repair shop in McMinn County has seen an increase in business as a result of distracted driving car accidents. Victims of auto accidents caused by distracted drivers may be eligible for compensation for any property damage, medical expenses or lost wages that stem from the collision.

More than just a statewide issue

Distracted driving and texting crashes are not just a problem for Tennessee motorists. Distraction.gov states that in 2012, 3,328 people were killed in these types of accidents nationwide. Approximately 421,000 people were injured in distracted driving accidents that same year. The official U.S. government’s website dedicated to distracted driving also reported that 10 percent of all motorists under 20 years of age who were involved in deadly car accidents were distracted at the time of the collision. The Institute for Highway Safety has found that as many as 11 U.S. teenagers are killed each day as a result of texting and driving.

Studies show that texting while behind the wheel can be even more dangerous than driving while intoxicated. Negligent motorists who text while driving, may face charges of reckless driving, reckless endangerment, text messaging while operating a motor vehicle or criminally negligent homicide if they are apprehended by law enforcement. People who have been victimized by distracted drivers may want to seek legal assistance from Clarksville auto accident attorneys.