Did you know that on average, 88% of drivers use their cell phones at some point while driving? This statistic was released in a recent study conducted by Zendrive, a company that measures driver safety. The study analyzed 3.1 million drivers between December 2016 and February 2017. The subjects made 570 million trips covering 5.6 billion miles. The study made many findings, including that drivers used a cell phone during 88% of the 570 million trips. Further, for every one hour driven, drivers spent an average of 3.5 minutes on the phone.
The study then ranked all 50 states by the prevalence of distracted driving. Here is Zendrive’s list of the 10 states where distracted driving is most prevalent:
- New Jersey
- Rhode Island
Tennessee just missed the cut, coming in at Number 11. Interestingly, most of the states that have bans on hand held phones while driving appeared toward the bottom of the list, suggesting there could be a link between cell phone bans and less distracted driving.
Distracted driving refers to anything that takes a driver’s attention off of the road. The most common distraction is the cell phone. Cell phones present multiple ways to not pay attention, including getting on the Internet, using apps like Facebook or Instagram, talking on the phone, or texting while driving. Other forms include eating, talking, messing with the radio, or using a navigation system.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) tracks distracted driving car accidents and related statistics. In 2015, over 391,000 Americans were injured by distracted driving. In the same year, 3,477 people were killed as a result of it.
If you have been hurt in a distracted driving accident in Tennessee, you may have a claim for damages provided another driver was negligent. Tennessee law requires all drivers to exercise due care, which includes operating the car at a safe speed and maintaining a safe lookout for other drivers, pedestrians, and objects on the road. The purpose of this law is for drivers to “avoid endangering life, limb or property.”
Distracted driving can be proven in many ways. One could be an admission by the responsible driver. Sometimes, the driver may apologize to the people in the car that got hit or to the officer at the scene. While direct admissions of fault do occur, they can be relatively rare. Thus, another form of proof is testimony from a witness who the saw crash. The witness may have seen the at-fault driver talking on the phone, looking down to text, or doing something else distracting before the impact occurred.
If a defendant driver refuses to admit to texting while driving or talking on the phone, cell phone records may be obtained via subpoena should the case proceed to litigation. These records can serve as useful evidence should your car or truck accident case go to trial because they will show if the other driver was using his or her mobile device at the time the accident occurred. In Tennessee, negligence is a failure to act reasonably under a given set of circumstances. To recover damages including medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering, a victim will need to prove the defendant failed to act reasonably by breaching a duty to drive safely.
To discuss how one of our car accident lawyers can help represent you in a case to recover your damages, call Nahon, Saharovich & Trotz at 1-800-529-4004.