Over the past five years there has been an increase in the number of cellphone-related crashes on Tennessee roadways. Even with the 2009 texting while driving ban put in place, many motorists still try and risk it to send off or read a quick text message. Many times, these few split seconds of a driver taking their hand off the steering wheel end up leading to a crash.
According to the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security, in the last two years there have been 126 deaths and more than 40,000 fatalities caused by electronic devices on Tennessee roadways.
In looking at the issue, Tennessee police officers can pull a person over for texting while driving. Those caught texting while driving will receive a $50 citation. However, the real problem is that often it is not discovered a person was texting and driving until after an accident.
Texting while driving is also not the only distracted driving issue. Drivers who manipulate a phone in any way while behind the wheel -- even to do something as simple as change a song on their playlist -- also run the risk of getting into an accident. The real issue is looking down, away from the road, and no longer paying attention to the No. 1 task at hand: driving.
In other states there are all-out cellphone bans enforced. However, looking to the future, Tennessee officials do not see a similar ban on the way. Instead, they are focused on texting while driving and hopeful that more and more Tennessee motorists will recognize the real dangers no longer put themselves and others at risk.