Chattanooga Distracted Driving Attorneys
Skilled lawyers uphold your legal rights after a car crash
Distracted driving is an epidemic on local roads and national highways. Drivers who divert their attention away from the road with radios, cell phones, or conversations with passengers put other motorists at risk. In fact, there were 24,610 distracted driving accidents in Tennessee in 2018 – and 1,376 of them were in Hamilton County alone.
If you were seriously injured or if your loved one was killed as the result of distracted driving, you need a Chattanooga distracted driving lawyer that puts the work in to prove your case. At Wagner & Wagner Attorneys at Law, we perform a thorough investigation of every car accident case we take on, including providing hard evidence to show the other driver was distracted when the crash occurred. From cell phone records to accident reconstruction to examination of the vehicles involved, we build a strong case on your behalf.
What are the types of distraction?
Distractions are any activities that take your focus away from driving and the other cars on the road. According to the CDC, there are three main categories of distractions:
- Once drivers take their eyes off the road, they are more likely to swerve, rear-end the car in front of them, or otherwise cause an accident. Plugging a destination into a GPS, texting, and using a smartphone are all examples of visual distractions.
- By taking their hands off the wheel, drivers compromise their control of the vehicle. These manual activities may include eating, drinking, smoking, applying makeup, changing the radio station, or reaching for something on the floor.
- When a driver’s mind is elsewhere, the consequences can be disastrous. Talking on the phone or texting is certainly a cognitive distraction, but focusing all your attention on conversations with passengers or daydreaming can also be dangerous. Drinking and driving or drowsy driving also impair a person’s ability to concentrate on the road.
Under TN Code § 55-8-136 (2016):
“Every driver of a vehicle shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian upon any roadway, and shall give warning by sounding the horn when necessary, and shall exercise proper precaution upon observing any child or any confused or incapacitated person upon a roadway.
Notwithstanding any speed limit or zone in effect at the time, or right-of-way rules that may be applicable, every driver of a vehicle shall exercise due care by operating the vehicle at a safe speed, by maintaining a safe lookout, by keeping the vehicle under proper control and by devoting full time and attention to operating the vehicle, under the existing circumstances as necessary in order to be able to see and to avoid endangering life, limb or property and to see and avoid colliding with any other vehicle or person, or any road sign, guard rail or any fixed object either legally using or legally parked or legally placed, upon any roadway, within or beside the roadway right-of-way including, but not limited to, any adjacent sidewalk, bicycle lane, shoulder or berm.”
In other words, you are legally responsible for being a safe, attentive driver.
Cell phone use while driving
As of July 1, 2019, it is illegal to use a hand-held cell phone or device while driving in Tennessee. Talking on a cell phone is both a manual and cognitive distraction; plus, entering a number into a phone is visual distraction. If you need to make a call while driving, consider using a hands-free device or pulling over to make the call.
Teenagers, however, with a leaner’s permit or intermediate license are prohibited from using a cell phone in any capacity while driving.
Texting while driving is illegal for everyone. You are not allowed to read, type, or send a text message on a cell phone, tablet, or other device while operating a vehicle. Similarly, you cannot post on social media or send emails.
This is for good reason, too: sending or reading a text message takes your eyes off the road for about 5 seconds, long enough to cover a football field while driving at 55 mph.
Experienced Chattanooga lawyers fight back against distracted driving
For generations, the local community has trusted Wagner & Wagner Attorneys at Law to provide them with the legal representation and support they need. Our Chattanooga distracted driving lawyers are ready to give you service and proper legal advice. Please contact us or call us at 423-756-7923. We serve clients in Chattanooga and Cleveland, TN, in North Georgia, and all the surrounding counties.