Penalties do not deter distracted driving accidents in Nashville.
Though the details may vary, every US state has laws about texting and other use of electronic devices while driving. These statutes were enacted in response to the spike in car accidents that were occurring because motorists were paying more attention to their phones than safely operating the vehicle. According toHands Free Tennessee, there are around 20,4000 motor vehicle collisions linked to distracted driving annually. That amounts to a rate of approximately 55 distracted driving crashes every day.
Tennessee’s hands-free statute became effective in July 2019; the figures above are from 2020, when you would expect the impacts to be felt. Instead, the data indicate that too many motorists still text, talk on the phone, or engage in other risky activities. If you were involved in a crash, you should discuss legal remedies with aNashville distracted driving accident attorney right away. A summary of the consequences of texting and driving, including the effects of a collision, is also informative.
Penalties for Violating Texting and Driving Laws
The Tennessee hands-free law prohibits the following activities while driving:
- Holding an electronic device in the hand or other part of the body;
- Writing or reading a text or email;
- Reaching to grab a cell phone when doing so requires the motorist to lean or release the seat belt; and,
- Watching, capturing, or recording video.
A violation of the law is a Class C Misdemeanor, but it is a moving violation. A driver could be fined $50 for a first-time offense and the fine increases for subsequent offenses. If the violation occurs in a work or school zone, the fine is $200.
In addition, a motorist ticketed for texting while driving will receive three points on their driving record. This may not seem to be a harsh penalty, but the accumulation of 12 points or more in a year could lead to a driver’s license suspension.
Consequences of Distracted Driving Accidents
Some drivers are willing to part with the money to pay fines and losing their driving privileges may not affect them. However, texting while driving is a very different matter when the distraction leads to a collision. There are still penalties issued by Tennessee officials, but injured victims also have rights through a civil lawsuit. If you were hurt in a crash, you need to prove that the accident occurred because the other motorist failed to drive safely. Evidence of texting and driving, as well as other distracted driving, is usually sufficient as proof. A victim may recover compensation for the following:
- Medical costs;
- Lost wages;
- Pain and suffering;
- Emotional distress; and,
- Many other losses that affect quality of life.
Consult with a Nashville Distracted Driving Accidents Lawyer for Free
For more information on your rights and remedies after a crash caused by texting, talking on the phone, or other negligent acts, please contact Bednarz Law. You can call 615-256-0100 orgo online to schedule a no-cost consultation. A Tennessee distracted driving accident attorney can provide additional details after reviewing your circumstances.