Can you imagine traveling on U.S. 412 for nearly a mile without looking where you were going? Think of the interchanges you would pass, the vehicles that might cut in front of you and the number of times the flow of traffic might change speeds as you roll blindly along that stretch of highway. This is what it is like when someone reads or sends a text message while driving.
Texting is only one form of distraction that can create a dangerous and potentially deadly situation for you and other Tennessee travelers. If you have suffered injuries or lost a loved one in a motor vehicle accident, there is a good chance that some kind of distraction contributed to the collision.
What is distracted driving?
More than 3,000 travelers die in the U.S. each year in accidents related to distracted driving. About 400,000 suffer injuries, some of them catastrophic and life-altering. However, not every distracted driver has a cell phone in hand. Distracted driving can include any of the following:
- Cognitive distraction, which occurs when a driver is thinking of something else besides driving, such as listening to a conversation on a hands-free device or having an argument with the passenger
- Visual distraction, which involves a driver looking at something other than the road ahead, such as a cell phone, the radio dial or something occurring outside the vehicle
- Manual distraction, which is when a driver takes his or her hands off the wheel, such as reaching for food or searching for something that fell onto the floor of the vehicle
As you can imagine, texting and driving employs all three forms of distraction. You may think young drivers are the ones most likely to not pay attention to their driving, but no age group is innocent of driving while distracted in some way. Tennessee has consistently high numbers of accidents and fatalities related to distracted driving. Despite the passage of new laws to prohibit the use of handheld devices behind the wheel, drivers continue to take unnecessary risks, which places you and others in danger.
Injuries from an accident with a distracted driver can be devastating, and you are right to feel overwhelmed by the consequences of this preventable tragedy. Like many in your situation, you may find some comfort in creating a plan of action for seeking the compensation you need and deserve for your suffering and loss. The skill of an experienced personal injury attorney may be of great benefit to you.