At the Rocky McElhaney Law Firm, we know the kinds of serious injuries you face if you are in an accident with a distracted driver. The plain truth is that we don’t want you to get hurt, but we’re here for you when you do. RML is committed to reducing distracted driving. Our offices participate in a Safe Driving Initiative to help keep our employees and the public at large safe.

What you need to know

Distracted driving is any activity that diverts a driver’s attention from the road. Distractions endanger drivers, passengers and bystanders, and include:

  • Texting
  • Using a phone
  • Eating or drinking
  • Talking to passengers
  • Grooming
  • Reading (including maps)
  • Using a navigation system
  • Watching a video
  • Adjusting a radio, CD player, or any other media

An estimated 421,000 people were injured in crashes involving a distracted driver in 2012, an increase of 9% from 2011. In Tennessee alone distracted drivers caused over 150,000 crashes from 2004 to 2014. While it’s not illegal to talk on a handset in Tennessee, it’s not a good idea. Handset use is banned for novice drivers, and texting is banned for everyone.

In 2014, there were almost 205,000 traffic accidents in the state of Tennessee. Of this number, almost 24% involved drivers 24 and under. This age bracket is most likely to drive distracted. Young driver education programs are vitally important to protect our youth.

Enforcement programs are helping to reduce the incidence of distracted driving. According to the Tennessee Department of Safety & Homeland Security, 2014 had the lowest number of distracted driving accidents since 2009, with 14,389. These declining numbers are the result of education and enforcement.

It’s only through a continuing program of education that we can hope to eliminate these numbers altogether. In the meantime, make your passengers and other drivers safer by adopting your own safe driving policy. Don’t call or text while your on the road, and do your best to reduce or eliminate distractions for yourself and others while driving.

Accidents happen every day. We hope that they won’t happen needlessly. You can help to accomplish that goal by being a better driver and passenger. If you or someone you know has been in an accident involving a distracted driver, please contact us for a free consultation.