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Distracted Driving Cause of Memphis Day Care Bus Crash?

Three vehicles collided in a Memphis motor vehicle accident at Western Park and Third Street earlier this week. Four adults were airlifted to a nearby hospital for treatment. One of the three vehicles was a daycare van from Chism Childcare Enrichment Complex carrying four children. No children were injured in the multi-vehicle crash.

One of the children on the bus noted that the kids were able to see the car coming down the street but that the driver of their bus was busy talking on the phone and may not have seen it, leading to the crash. Whether distracted driving actually played a role in the Memphis bus accident is still under investigation, but the three-car motor vehicle accident is a reminder to everyone to put down their phones and concentrate on the road.

Tennessee Distracted Driving Crashes

In 2011, there were over 1000 car accidents related to distracted driving. In 2008, there were slightly over 600. Distracted driving — whether because a driver is texting or talking on a cell phone — is a continuing safety problem on Tennessee roadways.

Tennessee has already outlawed the use of cell phones by bus drivers when passengers are on board. Whether the daycare bus in the recent car/bus motor vehicle accident qualifies as a bus, van or another type of vehicle for purposes of this prohibition remains to be seen. Tennessee also prohibits teen drivers with either a learner’s permit or an intermediate license from using a mobile phone while behind the wheel.

Despite a law against texting while behind the wheel, over a quarter of Tennessee drivers admit to texting while driving anyway according to a report by the University of Tennessee. Nashville police have started patrolling for texting drivers in unmarked SUVs to give law enforcement better visibility as to what’s going on in the driver’s seat.