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What Is The Law Regarding Cellphone-Related Accidents?

Drivers in Tennessee may find themselves in car accidents caused by other drivers who are talking on their cellphones. When such accidents occur, our attorneys use their knowledge of state laws and resources like witness testimony along with other evidence to assist victims in obtaining the compensation they are entitled to.

According to the National Safety Council, while the average percentage across all states of fatal crashes that involved driver cellphone use was 1.2 percent (in both 2010 and 2011), Tennessee averaged 7.4 percent in 2010. That number increased to 10.6 in the year 2011, making drivers in Tennessee the worst ranked in the U.S. for cellphone distractions.

In a recent study from the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI), the data showed that text messaging, browsing and dialing resulted in the longest duration of drivers taking their eyes off the road for an average of 23 seconds and that text messaging doubled the risk of a crash.

According to the National Safety Council report in May of 2015, cellphones were involved in an estimated 27 percent of all car crashes, but while crashes involving texting have increased, those involving talking on phones may have decreased.

Current State Laws In Tennessee

Many think the texting ban in Tennessee should be stronger. Currently, state law prohibits drivers from using cellphones to send and receive text messages on the road, but talking on a handheld device is not illegal. The state does not qualify for either of two federal grants because its ban on phone use while driving is too narrow to meet the eligibility requirements, which says a lot about the weakness of the current law. Another criticism of the law is that the penalties for violating the texting ban do not increase with repeat offenses. Failure to comply is considered a non-moving traffic violation resulting in a $50 fine.

Contact Our Lawyers Today

If you have been hurt in an accident involving cell phone use and a distracted driver, get in touch with Boren & Boyd, PLC, in Jackson at 800-727-0622 or 731-300-6207 to learn more about your legal options. When an accident is caused by a distracted driver in this state, the individual can be held financially liable for any injuries or deaths that occur as a result. You can reach out to us online to schedule a free consultation with our lawyers.