The dangers of texting while driving often get dismissed or downplayed. Drivers who don’t carefully consider the risks and also overestimate their ability to focus on the road increase the chances of causing a serious accident.
At the start of the school year, McMinn County students will be receiving an extra lesson on the dangers of distracted driving. Hopefully, they’ll take it to heart; it’s better to heed the warnings in advance than learn the lesson the hard way.
The county is offering this extra lesson because of a serious accident one of the students got into earlier in the summer. He had texted while driving to football practice and had wound up getting into an accident with a sheriff’s deputy. Fortunately, both of them survived. But it was still a serious accident, as they both suffered several broken bones.
In 2013, there were roughly 18,500 crashes in Tennessee alone involving distracted driving. Keep in mind that this estimate doesn’t include crashes that resulted in less than $400 in damage or that occurred in parking lots or private property. Another fact to keep in mind is that traffic accidents are a leading cause of death for teens. The inexperience and general impulsivity of teenagers, along with the distraction of texting or cell phone use, make for a deadly combination.
Texting and general mobile device use aren’t the only sources of distraction on the road. You should also try to avoid the following:
- Fiddling with the radio or getting too absorbed in the music.
- Getting into an involved conversation or argument with passengers.
- Roughhousing with passengers.
- Smoking (the act of lighting a cigarette, holding it or putting it out can take your attention off the road and your hands off the wheel).
- Driving on “mental autopilot” (meaning that your head’s in the clouds and you aren’t tuned into what’s going on as you drive).
As Chattanooga car accident attorneys who have witnessed what people struggle with after serious accidents, we urge you to always have your eyes on the road, your mind engaged with your driving, and your hands on the wheel. If you need any legal assistance after an accident, don’t hesitate to contact us.