Although news reports constantly remind people of the dangers of texting while driving, many people in Tennessee continue to drive while distracted. Teens are especially notorious for texting while driving, and as inexperienced drivers, it places them at a greater risk of being involved in a car crash as a result.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that distracted driving caused 18 percent of all fatal car crashes in 2010, which resulted in the deaths of 3,092 people. When a driver looks down to read a text or attempts to respond to one, his or her eyes are off the road. A study by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute found that texting while driving resulted in a 23 percent higher chance of being involved in a car accident due to the distraction it causes.
Although texting while driving is against the law in Tennessee, people continue to do it. Although people and teens do not always take the law seriously, it is in place for good reason. Of those who were 18 to 20 at the time of a car crash, 11 percent admitted they were distracted by text messaging at the time of their accidents.
When people take their eyes off the road, they are at a greater risk for drifting into an oncoming lane and being involved in a head-on collision with another vehicle. The risk of serious injury to others is great. People who are seriously injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver may be able to hold them liable in court by filing a personal injury lawsuit against them. Distracted drivers may be responsible for paying damages for all compensatory losses sustained as a result.