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Distractions are never more important than paying attention

More than likely, you got into your car on the day of the accident and expected the other drivers on the road to pay diligent attention to the traffic laws. Sadly, not all Tennessee drivers take their responsibilities seriously when they are behind the wheel, and you are now suffering for it.

Distracted driving is such a pervasive problem that in 2014, approximately 431,000 people suffered injuries, and 3,179 people died from crashes involving distracted drivers.

What constitutes a distraction while driving?

In general, anything that takes your attention from the road qualifies as a distraction. However, some of the more common distractions include the following:

  • Eating
  • Drinking
  • Talking to your passengers
  • Following navigations systems
  • Grooming
  • Reading maps, books or other printed material
  • Adjusting your MP3 player, CD player or radio
  • Using a cell phone
  • Texting

Why is texting more dangerous than other distractions?

Texting receives a great deal of attention from law enforcement agencies, advocacy groups and government administrations because it requires the use of your brain, your hands and your eyes simultaneously.

It takes approximately five seconds to view or send a text message, according to research done in 2009 by Virginia Tech Transportation Institute. That might not seem like a long time, but if you were traveling at 55 mph, you could cover the length of a football field, and a lot can happen to the traffic around you in that time.

Those five seconds could mean the difference between safe travels and serious or fatal injuries.

How do I know if the driver in my accident was distracted?

As police search for factors that led to the crash, investigators will more than likely determine what everyone involved was doing just prior to the collision. Your attorney will probably supplement that inquiry with one of his or her own.

If there is reason to believe that the other driver was texting or otherwise using a cell phone, records can be subpoenaed for review. Any cell phone activity found around the time of the accident could help prove distraction.

Successful personal injury or wrongful death claims establish that the injuries suffered, fatal or otherwise, were the result of the negligent actions of someone else. Taking a few seconds to review a text message might not have seemed like negligence to the other driver, but that seemingly harmless act likely caused the tragedy and the aftermath that you now face.

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