There are a lot of drivers in the Volunteer State – more than four million, actually. And those are just licensed automobile drivers: there are countless motorcycle riders, cyclists and commercial truck drivers on our roads at any given time. With so many people trying to get from Point A to Point B, it’s not surprising that there are thousands of car accidents in Tennessee every year.
I thought it might be a good idea to tell you how most car accidents are caused. Since the majority of crashes are caused by human error, you can consider this a checklist of sorts to help you drive more carefully.
So, in no particular order, here are the things most likely to cause a car crash in Tennessee:
- Cell phones. Even a hands-free headset can lead to distracted driving. Tennessee is starting to crack down on texting, too, as it leads to drastic increases in accidents.
- Speeding. We’re all in such a hurry –and it’s literally getting us killed. Speeding lowers our reaction time to respond to the unexpected.
- Eating. Put the burger down. Eating while driving takes a lot of concentration, and keeps your full attention off the road.
- Reading. Most readers are using their cell phones or tablets, but every now and then I see someone with an open book at an intersection, or the paper folded over the steering wheel.
- Ear buds. There are few things more dangerous than driving with earphones. They block out the noise from the road, so you don’t always know when there’s a problem – like an ambulance coming up behind you, or another car trying to speed past you.
- Tailgating. I know it’s frustrating when the person in front of you is doing 30 in a 50, or slowing down in front of every house to see the number, or paying more attention to the radio than the road. Take a deep breath and pass the car – safely – and be on your way.
- Road rage. Tailgating can be a symptom, but true road rage is less about your behavior towards other drivers than about your immediate anxiety and anger. Driving angry makes you less in tune with your surroundings, and more like to take risks on the road.
- Driving under the influence. Whether it’s booze or drugs, when you’re impaired you’re driving badly – period. And you put everyone else’s life on the line when you do.
- Fatigue. Driving tired isn’t like driving drunk, but the results can be the same. Fatigue causes numerous accidents every year, especially for truck drivers.
- Bad weather. You can’t control the weather, but you can choose not to drive in it. Heavy fog, snow or rain can obscure your visibility, making the road and any potential dangers difficult to see.
Long story short? Your mom and dad were right: keep your hands at 10:00 and 2:00, your eyes forward and your phone off. If you do that, you’ll be far safer while you’re driving to your next adventure.
If you are injured by a negligent driver, give me a call at 865-225-9655 for a free consultation.