On February 7, the Tullahoma News published an article about the dangers of texting and driving in Tennessee. The article was prompted by the death of a 17-year-old boy who was killed last year when he sent and received a text message as he drove. Unfortunately, he crossed the median into oncoming traffic while he was distracted and he lost his life.
The information provided by the Tullahoma News indicated that the Tennessee High Patrol (THP) is very concerned about distracted driving, especially texting and driving. Our Johnson City, TN injury attorneys share the concerns of the THP and urge every driver to be aware of the great risk involved in choosing to send or receive a text message while operating a vehicle.
Texting and Driving Dangers in Tennessee
The Tullahoma News summarized some important information about the dangers of texting and driving to underscore how risky this behavior is. According to their information:
- The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security indicates that more than 126 deaths in the state were caused by drivers using electronic devices in the past two years alone.
- The use of electronic devices behind the wheel also accounted for more than 40,000 auto accidents during this same two year period.
- Since January 2010, the Tennessee Highway Patrol has issued more than 750 citations for texting and driving. Tennessee was one of the first states in the U.S. to ban this practice and lawmakers acted back in 2009. The law imposes a fine up to $50 plus court costs up to $10 for any driver who sends or reads a text message while his car is in motion.
This data clearly shows that many people are taking unnecessary risks in texting and that hundreds are losing their lives as a direct result of drivers who simply cannot wait to get home before they read or return a text message.
Tennessee Highway Patrol is rightfully concerned about the dangers of texting and driving, and it is extremely important that lawmakers continue to be strict about stopping and citing those who text and drive.
Data from Distraction.gov also indicates how important it is to take strong action to prevent texting. According to the statistics:
- 40 percent of teens had been in a car with a driver who was using his or her cell phone in a dangerous manner, according to what the teens reported in a Pew research poll.
- A driver that is making use of any type of handheld device is four times as likely to get into a crash that could cause injury than a driver not using a handheld device.
- A driver texting is 23 times as likely to become involved in a crash as a driver who is not similarly distracted.
- A driver who is sending a text message or who is reading one will look away from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds. He could drive a full football field during that 4.6 seconds if he was going 55 miles per hour.
Clearly, all the data and all the evidence shows that Tennessee and other states need to continue to fight against the dangers of texting and driving. The Tennessee Highway Patrol should continue its efforts to educate the public on this issue and to stop those drivers who are caught texting.
If you are in an accident in Johnson City, Tennessee, contact Meade Injury Law Group today at (423) 464-7779for a free consultation.