According to the most recent data from the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security (2023), distracted driving causes an accident every 27 minutes. The problem is particularly dire in our state’s urban areas, where more than 80 percent of car accidents are due to motorists’ attention being diverted by electronic devices, infotainment systems, and even other passengers. 

At Pete Olson Injury Law, our Clarksville car accident lawyer understands how frustrating it is to be injured in an incident that wasn’t your fault. We do everything we can to help you recover past and future medical costs, lost income, pain, suffering, and other damages. Here’s how we can help.

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Table of Contents:

What is Distracted Driving?

Any behavior interfering with a person’s ability to stay focused on driving safely is a dangerous distraction. This includes talking or texting and driving, making selections on a navigation or entertainment system, talking with other passengers, searching for something in the glove compartment, daydreaming, and eating, drinking, or grooming behind the wheel. And if we’re honest, we’ve all done a few of these a time or two. 

But know this: even taking your eyes off the road for 5 seconds might cause an accident. If someone travels at 55 mph, it’s like closing your eyes for the entire football field length in that short time. 

man distracted driving in Clarksville

Types of Distracted Driving

According to the CDC, there are three distinct categories of distracted driving. A driving distraction encompasses anything that makes you take your hands off the wheel, your eyes off the road, or your focus away from driving. Each of these distractions is dangerous on its own, but when combined into a single distraction, they’re potentially deadly.

Manual Driving Distractions

Manual distractions are anything that causes you to take your hands off the wheel. This could be reaching for a drink, adjusting the AC, reaching into your pocket, or even putting a hand on the shifter.

Manual distractions are typically the least dangerous of the three, as most drivers always keep at least one hand on the wheel. However, manual distractions are a symptom of another kind of distracted driving.

You don’t normally reach for a drink with your eyes fixed on the road. Instead, you devote brainpower to reaching for the drink, and you might briefly look down to find it. That’s the danger of distracted driving: not a single action but multiple elements combined.

Visual Driving Distractions

Visual distractions refer to any time you take your eyes off the road. Some common examples include looking at your passengers, viewing scenic views, and checking an incoming phone notification.

While the above examples seem harmless, they cause you to lose awareness of your surroundings, however briefly. If you were following too close and suddenly look away, you might not have enough time to notice the car ahead of you slammed its brakes.

Taking your eyes off the road is always risky, especially at high speeds. If you need to look away from the road or reach around for something, consider finding a place to pull over.

Mental Driving Distractions

Mental distractions are, by far, the most dangerous kind of driving distraction. They are the root cause of all other distractions. Mental distractions are the fear that makes you look through your bag, thinking you forgot something. They are the worry that makes you want to check your social media.

Most of all, mental distractions are the result of boredom. Mental distractions occur when you aren’t fully engaged in driving. You start to daydream and lose track of reality as your ideas become more and more complex.

Mental distractions cause you to enter a sort of autopilot. You control the car by instinct until you’re suddenly snapped out of it by something unexpected, like a car pulling out in front of you.

It’s unlikely you’ll ever know which of these issues caused the other motorist to lose control. However, if their actions affected you, it’s important to know that 

Tennessee is a “fault” state. This means when a distracted driver is found to be responsible for your accident, they’re accountable for your economic and non-economic damages—and you have a legal right to pursue compensation. 

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The Most Dangerous Distraction on the Road

When we talk about distracted driving, we tend to gravitate toward cell phones. After all, cell phones encompass all three distractions at once. You reach for your phone, you look at the screen, and you use mental power to navigate the menus and form words. As you do so, you enter that trance-like autopilot, controlling the vehicle as long as nothing unexpected happens.

Although cell phone use is an easy target, there is a worse culprit. The most common reason for distracted driving is caused by daydreaming. Studies suggest more than 60% of all distracted driving accidents involve someone who is “lost in thought.” By comparison, cell phone use makes up a minuscule 12% of accidents.

How Our Clarksville Car Accident Lawyer Can Help You After a Crash

At Pete Olson Injury Attorneys, we believe the most rewarding aspect of practicing law is using our knowledge and experience to help people who are hurting because of no fault of their own. So here’s how we’ll work hard to build your distracting driving case. 

  1. Secure all the evidence. This includes but isn’t limited to, accident scene photos, the police report, and your medical records for injuries related to the crash.
  2. Request special assistance. In our accident investigation, we might ask for various types of information—such as phone records that prove the other motorist was texting while driving—or interview eyewitnesses and experts to support your claim.
  3. Fully assess your damages. Medical treatment costs aren’t the only recoverable expenses in a distracted driving case. We apply our expertise to your circumstances and evaluate all applicable losses, including missed income during recovery, property damage, pain and suffering, loss of consortium due to the injury, and more. 

With nearly 30 years of experience, our exceptional legal team knows how to fight for our clients’ rights and hold all negligent parties and insurance companies accountable. You’ll always have our full attention until your case is resolved.

Contact Our Car Accident Attorney in Clarksville Today!

Driving is inherently dangerous. Every driver has a duty to eliminate distractions before they get behind the wheel. Put away food, put your phone on do not disturb, and take a moment to identify any distractions before you get on the road.

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If you or someone you love suffered serious injuries in a distracted driving accident, you might have a case. If you’d like to request a free case consultation with our experienced Clarksville car accident attorney, click the button above now. For immediate assistance, call (877) GetPete.

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