Tennessee police focus on spotting, citing distracted drivers

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Drivers across Tennessee understand that it is illegal to text while driving in this state. There are some drivers who still try to get away with it, however, and they think that they can simply hide it from police. It can be dangerous enough to text behind the wheel, but going so far as to try and conceal it can further distract a driver, which is extremely reckless.

In previous years, texting and driving has been at least partly responsible for thousands of car accidents. Some studies suggest that distraction played a role in about 80 percent of accidents in 2011. This year, law enforcement authorities across the state are continuing to ramp up efforts to spot and ticket drivers who insist on texting and driving.

Despite the fact that a reported 94 percent of drivers polled understand that texting is dangerous, too many drivers continue to jeopardize the lives of others just to read or send a text. But police in Tennessee are among those who are taking a more hands-on approach to spotting a driver who is texting in order to cite them and hopefully prevent a serious accident.

Unmarked SUVs have been placed near overpasses and around various areas in which texting and driving is common so that police can see a texting driver and give them a ticket. With the help of federal dollars, these spotters will increase the likelihood that a texting driver will be caught.

Some drivers think that if they hide the phone in their lap or hold a phone up in front of their face they can still drive safely and text. This is not true. Hiding a phone or positioning it in certain ways does not change the fact that a driver’s attention is on his or her phone, not on the road. This distraction can result in actions such as swerving, missing traffic signals and failing to quickly react to changing traffic conditions. Each of these actions puts innocent people in danger and should be punished appropriately. An accident caused by a distracted driver can be completely prevented by the negligent driver if he or she would simply put their phone away and concentrate on the road.

Source: carinsurance.com, “Texting? Watch out for overpasses,” Jan. 9, 2013

  • Our Memphis, Tennessee, law firm works with victims who have been injured by a distracted or otherwise negligent driver. For more information, please visit our motor vehicle accident page.