Distracted driving is one of the biggest causes of vehicular accidents on the nation's roadways. In Tennessee, it is a problem that is reaching crisis levels as authorities report issuing far more texting and driving citations than ever before. Although the Tennessee Highway Patrol issued 114 texting and driving citations in 2014, authorities have already issued 995 texting citations in 2015. This is particularly important in light of statistics saying that since 2010 more than 8,000 people have suffered accident injuries, and 48 have died from car accidents in the state.
Everyone has probably at one time or another experienced the dangers of trying to pass a vehicle on a two-lane roadway that contains only one lane of traffic in the direction traveled, and one lane coming the other way. The rules of the road in Tennessee and elsewhere are fairly uniform and specific; nonetheless, an attempt to pass the car ahead is often risking a potential car crash. One two-lane road in Gibson County was the scene of a fatal accident on Saturday, July 11, when a motorist's attempt to pass a vehicle in front of him on a two-lane road resulted in a head-on crash with a motorcycle.
A great deal of human suffering could have been avoided at 5 a.m. on Friday, June 26, had a 26-year-old GMC Envoy driver not been talking on his cell phone while driving on the ramp to Interstate 275 north from Interstate 40 west. He rear-ended a car in front of him, causing a chain reaction that sent at least five persons to the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville. The police said that criminal charges were pending against him for causing the car crash.
In Tennessee and everywhere else, it is often difficult to know what causes car accidents where a driver loses control of a vehicle and goes off the road into a ditch, tree or other obstruction. This often happens at curves in the road where driving too fast may prevent a driver from handling a change in road patterns. Another common instance of losing control and causing a car crash is when a driver crosses over the center line and heads directly into traffic that is approaching in the opposite direction.
Another fatal accident has been caused by a vehicle operator who lost control, crossed the center line of a highway and crashed head-on into an oncoming vehicle. According to the Tennessee Highway Patrol, the car crash occurred on the Newport Highway near the Cocke County Line when the driver of a minivan going north on the highway went across the center line and crashed into a passenger sedan that was heading south. The driver of the minivan and her passenger, both from Greeneville, were killed in the car crash.
The tragic death of a teenager in a car crash is always an overwhelming emotional loss to a family. It is often also devastating to schoolmates, friends and a wide slice of the community that the victim inhabited and enriched. In Bradley County, a 17-year-old high school graduate who was excitedly looking forward to starting college in the fall, fell prey to a careless driver who caused her fatal accident injuries by going through a red light and crashing into her vehicle. According to the Tennessee Highway Patrol, the driver of a logging truck went through the red light going north on Highway 11 at the intersection of Tasso Lane.
Another tragic loss of human life occurred in Tennessee on Friday, May 22, when an SUV driven by a 31-year-old Walland woman crossed into oncoming traffic and caused an accident that killed two people on a motorcycle. The SUV hit a total of four oncoming motorcycles, injuring several other riders, according to the Tennessee Highway Patrol. It appears that the families of the decedents have personal injury claims for wrongful death damages against the SUV driver.
Another wrong-way driver has apparently caused a deadly accident in Tennessee. The multi-vehicle car crash occurred at about 2:30 a.m. on Interstate 40 on Saturday, May 16. The suspected wrong-way driver is believed to have entered the highway at the westbound exit at Old Hickory in west Nashville while traveling in an easterly direction.
If a driver fleeing from police gets into an accident, it's a good bet that he or she was driving negligently or recklessly. However, the cause of a car crash in Tennessee must be investigated strictly on the facts of what happened and not solely on the condition or prior carelessness of either driver. The fact that the first driver was fleeing or impaired does not in itself allow for a conclusion that the driver is legally liable for injuries that may have occurred.
The appropriate type of civil lawsuit to file against a negligent driver for causing death in a traffic accident is called a wrongful death action. The family of the deceased must file an estate in the person's county of residence, and it is the estate that files against the person or persons who are liable to pay compensation. Death claims in Tennessee and elsewhere can be significant, particularly where there may be an extended amount of lost wages or lost earning capacity over the lifetime of a younger victim.