If you look at the causes of crashes in Tennessee and elsewhere, it becomes apparent that the primary cause is negligence in some form by one or more drivers. It is almost fair to list motor vehicles with negligent drivers as life-threatening safety hazards. The only difference between the five most common causes of automobile crashes is the circumstances under which they occurred.
Here are the 5 most common circumstances that can lead to severe or fatal injuries on the state's highways:
1. Distracted driving
Have you noticed people holding a burger in one hand, a drinking cup in the other and their heads bent down to hold a mobile phone -- while at the same time gripping the steering wheel with pinkies because they are actually driving on the highway? Others send and receive text messages, apply makeup, shave, adjust radios or get lost in the scenery. The truth is that a moment's distraction can cause a crash that should have otherwise been preventable.
2. Driving under the influence
Shocking statistics provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show one person died in a crash involving alcohol every 52 minutes in 2013 -- nationwide. In all these crashes, one of the drivers was operating a vehicle while his or her blood alcohol content was over the legal limit.
Speeding is possibly the most dangerous type of negligent driving because it often goes hand-in-hand with distracted driving and drunk driving. You can protect your own life and prevent the accidental deaths of others by complying with speed limits.
4. Adverse weather
While many drivers blame the weather for collisions, the truth is that if a driver is not equipped to navigate a vehicle in prevailing conditions, he or she should not tempt fate. Driving in rain and snow impairs the driving abilities of even the most accomplished drivers. Being overconfident and combining any of the above three circumstances with driving on slippery roads can cause preventable, tragic crashes.
5. Reckless Driving
Many drivers operate their vehicles in a selfish manner with no regard for fellow motorists and traffic rules. This type of negligence includes sudden and impulsive lane changing without signaling, disregard of traffic lights and road signs, and improper turning that endangers themselves and others. Reckless driving can have devastating but preventable consequences, even more so when combined with any of the other risky behaviors.
Even if you are one of the most careful drivers on Tennessee roads, as long as you share those roads with negligent drivers you are vulnerable to a potential car accident. If you are suffering the consequences of an automobile crash, your financial stability, and your job may be at risk -- especially if your injuries were severe enough to prevent your return to your workplace. Fortunately, you need not face this difficult time on your own. With the support and guidance of an experienced Tennessee personal injury attorney to advocate on your behalf, you may receive recovery of all the damages you sustained - regardless of whether it is through negotiation with insurance companies or litigation by filing a personal injury lawsuit.