WBIR-TV reported last week that Tennessee law enforcement officials rarely ticket drivers for texting while driving.
The Volunteer State became the ninth state in the country to ban texting while driving in 2009. WBIR reported that the Tennessean, the Nashville’s newspaper, reviewed traffic records for 15 Middle Tennessee law enforcement agencies, finding that they wrote a combined 389 texting while driving tickets since 2010.
The Metro Nashville Police Department reportedly had the highest number of texting while driving tickets written the area, with 52 tickets since 2010.
The law states that drivers who send or read an electronic message while driving can receive tickets—however, motorists are allowed to dial phone numbers, an excuse that many people use when they are pulled over. If those cases, officers can write a driver a ticket for not following the state’s due-care law, which requires that motorists pay attention to the road while driving. However, due-care tickets are not tracked by most state agencies.
According to WBIR, Tennessee has the highest percentage of fatalities involving cellphone use in the U.S. This is extremely disheartening, as a vehicle, traveling at speeds of 55 mph, can travel the length of a football field in the four seconds it takes on average to read a text. In 2010, the National Safety Council reported that 7.4 percent of all fatal crashes in Tennessee were caused by cellphone use, a number that increase to 10.6 in 2011.
“Since 2008, we’ve had 377 fatality crashes,” Metro police Sgt. Bob Sheffield told WBIR. “Out of those, 139 were attributed to drivers running off the road or failing to maintain lanes. Of course I can’t say definitively in all of them they were attributed to texting or cellphone use, but there was some action that caused that driver not to be able to maintain their lane of travel.”
Aside from death, car accidents involving texting and driving can also cause personal injuries like traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, amputation and broken bones. If you or a loved one has sustained injuries in a texting and driving car accident, our Nashville injury lawyer wants to lend you strength. Call (615) 866-3938 to talk with someone who understands what you are going through.
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:” – 1 Peter 5:8