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Texting and driving still threatens Tennessee motorists

Tennessee's roadways are dangerous places. Though the weather, poorly designed and maintained roads and even animals can add to the danger, perhaps no other factor poses more risk than other drivers. Far too many of Tennessee's motorists are negligent behind the wheel, and this negligence can take many forms. Mere talking can lead to distraction and an increased risk of an accident, as can changing the radio and eating while driving. Drunk driving, of course, posing a significant threat, too. But one risky behavior seems to be gaining in commonality: texting and driving.

For the year 2012, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that texting and driving caused more than 3,300 deaths, making up 18 percent of all fatal accidents. An additional 421,000 individuals were injured in these types of car accidents. A Pew survey found that 40 percent of teens said they had been placed in a dangerous situation when the driver of the vehicle in which they were riding used a cell phone. Additional studies have shown that texting and driving increases the chances of an accident 23 times over the average risk.

There have been many attempts to curtail texting and driving, and those efforts are ongoing. Some states have enacted laws aimed at criminalizing texting and driving, while the cell phone companies have mounted campaigns to raise awareness regarding the dangers associated with texting while driving.

Unfortunately, though, despite these efforts, texting and driving is still a common problem. Those who wind up in a wreck caused by a negligent driver who was texting at the time can suffer serious harm. They may suffer physical and emotional pain and suffering, and they might also be forced to pay extensive medical bills and find a way to recoup lost wages. In their attempt to do so, Tennessee victims may want to consider the legal options available to them.

Source: Federal Communications Commission, "The Dangers of Texting While Driving," accessed on Mar. 4, 2016

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