Cars don’t kill people; texting & driving does

By: Darrell Castle

Distracted driving is the leading killer of teenagers in the United States.

According to the Tennessee Department of Safety, in 2013, there were more than 5,000 accidents involving distracted drivers and only about 730 accidents involving drunken drivers in Shelby County.

Texting and driving is obviously still a big problem, despite the new law in 2009 prohibiting texting and driving in Tennessee. Why are drivers still doing it?

Are the punishments not stiff enough?

Currently in Tennessee, anyone who’s caught texting and driving can receive a maximum fine of $50. Is that really enough?

Is it too hard to catch drivers who are texting on the road?

“The first indicator is when we see someone holding their cell phone up,” said Sgt. Michael Pope of the Shelby County Sheriff’s Department on how they spot drivers who are texting. “We can see through the side view mirrors or rearview mirrors [or we] can see the electronic device illuminate. Once we see a person with the actual device, it gives us the probable cause to stop their vehicle.”

It seems rather easy for drivers to hide the act of texting and driving.

With the cell phone growing more and more popular as it adds more social media, apps and games, it’s becoming even more difficult to curb texting and driving. You can’t control what others are doing in their car, but YOU can can control what YOU do in yours.

What are some ways you can help ensure YOUR safety out on the roadways in the midst of texters and drivers?

1. Use your phone to keep you safe

This may sound counterproductive to this entire article, but to the contrary – mobile apps have been developed to block texting while driving, and even offer incentives.

2. Don’t allow yourself to be a bystander

If you’re riding with someone who’s texting and driving, tell them to stop because you don’t feel safe. By doing so, you’re not only helping yourself right in that moment, but you may also help your friend and others in the future. You’re doing this by planting the seed of the dangers of texting and driving to someone who sees you as important to them.

3. Put your cell phone in the backseat while you’re driving

If the urge to text and drive is too strong and you don’t think you can overcome it, put your cell phone somewhere out of reach while you’re driving. That could be in the backseat, in the glove compartment or even in the trunk of your car.

These are just a few things to think about when it comes to curbing the texting and driving issues we have as a society, but you can find your own solution that works best for you.

Even if you do find a way to stop texting and driving, that doesn’t mean other drivers will. That’s why if you do find yourself injured in a car accident that wasn’t your fault, or you aren’t sure whose fault it was, you should speak to an experienced car accident attorney.

You need an attorney who will be there for you to answer any and all questions while walking and talking you through the process. You need an attorney who’s going to fight to get you the compensation you deserve. As the auto accident lawyer Memphis, TN residents have trusted for over 30 years, Darrell Castle & Associates knows exactly what is required for a successful injury claim. You need an attorney who’s handled car accident cases of all shapes and sizes, and has done so successfully.

At Darrell Castle & Associates, you’ll find all of this, and we back that up with our multiple Client Distinction Awards from Martindale-Hubbell for client satisfaction.

Call us today at (901) 327-1212 to schedule a FREE consultation with an attorney, or fill out one of the contact forms on this page.