Like most roadways in the nation, Tennessee highways are often busy, traffic-laden areas where you may feel as though you put your best driving skills to the test just to safely travel to your destination. From drivers cutting into your lane, failing to yield or ignoring stop signs, the risks for collision are high. The best you can do is stay alert and adhere to all traffic regulations while hoping that the other motorists in your vicinity will do the same.

Have you ever reached for a water bottle or other drink you set into a cup holder inside your vehicle, so you can take a sip while driving? Upon learning that drinking and eating while driving is a major distraction that often leads to collisions resulting in injury, you may re-think your choice to hydrate while driving in the future. In fact, at any given moment on the road, whether you’re behind the wheel or traveling as a pedestrian, another person’s negligence or distraction may be placing you at risk.

How safe is your travel route?

It’s difficult to tell if there’s a distracted driver in your midst as you navigate Tennessee roads. If you witness someone texting while driving, the situation leaves no question as to whether another motorist is placing you in harm’s way. However, not all distractions are so immediately apparent. The following list includes some of the most common types of distraction that can quickly turn an uneventful trip into an emergency:

  • Adjusting heating units or air conditioning from the driver’s seat may seem quite harmless at first because the knobs to do so are right next to the steering wheel. Reaching for dashboard controls, such as radio dials or other buttons takes your eyes off the road and sometimes causes you to lean out of your seat, both distracted behaviors that can lead to collision.
  • Studies show glancing at a text message or something else on a hand-held electronic device typically takes five seconds of your attention away from the road ahead. That’s comparable to driving the entire length of a football field while blindfolded if you’re traveling at an average speed of 55 miles per hour.
  • Using mirrors inside your vehicle to groom is another type of driving distraction that increases your risk for injury. If you notice a motorist near you trying to put on makeup, trim a mustache or otherwise take care of personal grooming habits while driving, it’s best to try to steer clear of that vehicle.

The bottom line is that any time your eyes look away from the road or hands leave the wheel, you are distracted. You might be able to physically witness someone plucking his or her eyebrows while driving; however, if another motorist is daydreaming at the wheel and not focusing on the task at hand, there’s really no way to tell. If you survive the injuries caused by a distracted driver, damage consequences may be long lasting, if not permanent.

The aftermath of a distracted driving accident

From car repairs, medical bills for any injury treatment you may need to losing income because you have to take time off work in recovery, a moment’s worth of impact in a motor vehicle collision can cause physical suffering, as well as long-lasting emotional trauma and undue financial hardships. Many Tennessee accident victims seek recovery for their losses by allowing experienced personal injury attorneys to pursue justice for them against negligent drivers.