Distracted Driving Accidents

A Tennessee personal injury lawyer who fights for victims injured in accidents

Texting or talking on a cell phone is a well-documented form of distracted driving that has become a significant problem over recent years, but other distractions have been a factor in accidents for many decades.

While the consequences of using a cell phone while driving can be deadly, cell phone use behind the wheel is not the biggest distraction for drivers. One recent study of police data from 2010 and 2011 breaks down the top 10 distractions involved in fatal accidents. Researchers examined the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), a nationwide census of fatal motor vehicle traffic crashes maintained by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Top 10 Driver Distractions in Fatal Crashes

Here are the top 10 distractions involved in deadly car accidents:

  • Daydreaming or “lost in thought” (62 percent of distracted drivers)
  • Using a cell phone for things like talking, listening, dialing or texting (12 percent of distracted drivers)
  • Distraction from an outside person, object or event, sometimes referred to as “rubbernecking” (7 percent of distracted drivers)
  • Talking with or looking at other people in the car (5 percent of distracted drivers)
  • Using or reaching for a device in the car such as a navigational unit or headphones (2 percent of distracted drivers)
  • Eating or drinking (2 percent of distracted drivers)
  • Adjusting a stereo or climate controls (2 percent of distracted drivers)
  • Using other controls in the vehicle such as adjusting a rear-view mirror or seats (1 percent of distracted drivers)
  • A pet, insect or other object is moving inside the vehicle (1 percent of distracted drivers)
  • Smoking, including lighting up or putting ashes in the ashtray (1 percent of distracted drivers)

At Meade Law Group, we encourage all drivers to avoid distractions. It’s important to focus on driving to keep yourself and others on the road safe.

Accidents due to distracted drivers, unfortunately, happen every day, and the consequences can be devastating. Ten percent of the 65,000 fatal accidents that occurred in the United States between 2010 and 2011 involved at least one of the drivers being distracted, according to an analysis of data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Drivers Who Text Message are a Danger to All

Distracted drivers pose a risk not only to fellow drivers but to pedestrians as well, especially in parking lots of sporting events or concerts, where an individual in a crowd may be unable to see an approaching vehicle. Bicycle accidents also may be traced back to a distracted driver who was fiddling with a cell phone. The following factors that might lead a driver to start texting:

  • Late for work or appointments and lets the other party know by texting
  • Stuck in traffic
  • Getting out from a movie or other setting in which the phone was off
  • Leaving work and making plans with friends
  • Trying to get directions or an address on the way to meet someone

There’s no good reason for someone who is operating a motor vehicle to send a text message or read an email. If an accident happens, the driver can be responsible for someone else’s injuries.

Tips to avoid cell phone distraction behind the wheel

  • Don’t pick up when your cell phone rings; let the incoming calls go to voice mail and check the messages when you’re not driving.
  • If you do take a call while driving, ask the person to call you back later and hang up.
  • If you must talk or text, find a safe place to pull over.
  • Be a good role model for your children and show them that it’s unacceptable to use a cell phone while driving.

Contact a Tennessee Distracted Driving Attorney

If you or a loved one was involved in a distracted driver accident in Tennessee, you may be entitled to compensation. Don’t hesitate to contact Meade Law Group for a FREE consultation with an experienced car accident attorney. We are dedicated to helping victims obtain the compensation and closure they deserve.

Call us today at (423) 464-7779.


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