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3 dangerous behaviors Tennessee drivers engage in every day

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Every year, the American Automobile Association's Foundation for Traffic Safety performs a survey of licensed drivers. While they have been collecting nationwide data since 2008, in the 2014 survey, they were able to collect state-specific data for 24 states, including Tennessee. With this information, residents of this state can now review what local drivers believe are unacceptable driving behaviors, as well as the percentage of drivers who admit to engaging in these same activities behind the wheel.

A car accident lawyer in Tennessee understands that some behaviors have more potential for injuries and fatalities. Awareness of dangerous activities is not enough to prevent an alarming percentage of the state's licensed drivers from engaging in them, according to the results of this survey.

  1. Driving 10 miles per hour over the speed limit on a residential street

Speed limits are determined based on calculated safety for traffic and the roadway type. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, in 2013, there were 236 speed-related traffic fatalities in Tennessee. According to the results of the AAA survey, 91 percent of respondents say it is completely unacceptable to drive 10 miles per hour over the posted limit in neighborhoods. Unfortunately, 52 percent admit to doing it at least once in the previous month, and 7 percent say they often speed on residential streets.

  1. Talking on cellphones

Legislation has raised penalties on driver use of hand held cellphones, and 50 percent of survey participants agree that they are dangerous to use. However, recent technology allows drivers to have the same conversations without taking their hands from the wheel. While automobile manufacturers are installing these programs in new vehicles, there is evidence that they are not safe. According to an AAA cognitive distraction study, some voice-based systems require more concentration to use because of complex command requirements and frequent errors. When survey respondents reported all cellphone use, 77 percent admitted to at least one conversation in the previous 30 days, and 37 claimed regular cellphone use.

  1. Typing and reading texts and emails

Almost every driver in the state agrees that it is completely unacceptable to type or read a message on a hand held electronic device such as a cell phone. A car accident lawyer in Tennessee may be alarmed to note that 47 percent of these read their messages anyway, and 34 percent admit to typing and sending them. This kind of distracted driving behavior is one of the most dangerous because it engages a driver's hands, eyes and mind, completely removing focus from the road. When traveling at highway speeds, five seconds of diverted attention is equal to driving blindfolded for the length of a football field.

In 2013, there were 995 traffic fatalities on Tennessee roadways, according to the NHTSA. Victims of drivers engaging in reckless behaviors often experience serious injuries that result in permanent disabilities or fatalities. A car accident lawyer in Tennessee may be able to help victims and family members to receive financial compensation for the expenses caused by the crash.

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