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Distracted Driving a Common Cause of Tennessee Trucking Accidents

FocusDriven and the National Safety Council (NSC) are combining forces for the first ever National Distracted Driving Awareness Month.

Our Knoxville personal injury lawyers realize the horrific toll a distracted driving accident can have on a family. For over a decade we have represented clients who were involved in Tennessee trucking accidents, caused by distracted driving. Federal law now prohibits truckers from texting while driving — a law prohibiting them from using all hand-held cell phones has been proposed. Seeking the advice of an experienced attorney to help determine whether a trucking accident was caused by driver distraction or other violations of state and federal rules is the best course of action to protect your rights and the financial well-being of you and your family.

During the month of April, FocusDriven (advocates for cell-free driving) and NSC will urge Americans to put away their cell phones while driving. It is estimated that roughly 1.6 million crashes annually are caused by drivers using their hands-free or handheld cell phones and texting while driving. This is the number one reason for crashes caused by distractions.

These two nonprofit organizations want drivers, starting this month, to never use cell phones again while driving. They urge drivers to change their voicemail message to something like, “I can’t take your call right now because I am driving, but I will get back to you as soon as I can.” They want drivers to either turn off or silence their phones while driving, thus eliminating the distraction of an incoming call or text message.

“If drivers can go one month without using their phones while driving, they will find out – as many of us have – work still gets done. Many drivers realize most of the calls they thought were so important, really aren’t. It is our hope drivers will decide to make the change permanently. Doing so will make our roadways safer for everyone,” said Jennifer Smith, FocusDriven president and founding board member.

Employers should not encourage their employees to mix work and driving.

“National Distracted Driving Awareness Month also is the perfect opportunity for businesses to implement cell phone policies to protect employees. When businesses allow employees to conduct business on cell phones while driving, they are putting their employees at a 4 times greater risk of a crash,” said Janet Froetscher, NSC president and CEO. “NSC provides many resources, including a free Cell Phone Policy Kit, to help businesses protect employees.”

In 2009, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that over 295,000 large trucks were involved in crashes and 3,215 were involved in fatal crashes. Sadly 3,380 lose their lives in accidents involving large trucks and more than 70,000 people sustained injuries. In Tennessee out of 1,307 vehicles involved in deadly crashes, 6.7% were large trucks.

If you are involved in a trucking accident in Knoxville or the surrounding areas, contact Hartsoe Law Firm, P.C. for a confidential appointment to discuss your rights with our Knoxville injury lawyers and Marysville accident attorneys. Call (877) 472-5657.

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