Auto accidents happen every day in the state of Tennessee. Unfortunately, a huge number of these crashes happen because drivers are careless, aggressive or irresponsible in the decisions they make behind the wheel.
Our Knoxville personal injury attorneys believe that if everyone made a commitment to driving just a little bit more carefully, thousands of lives could be saved. As such, we encourage every driver to make an important New Years Resolution in 2013. We urge you to resolve that this year you'll stop dangerous driving behaviors and make an extra effort to be safe behind the wheel.
The Tennessee Department of Safety Office of Records and Statistical Management keeps track of car accident data. In 2008, they released a comprehensive report on Traffic Crashes in Tennessee by Driver Actions and County. This report took a look at the top driver-related factors that led to crashes between 2003 and 2007. Using this report, we've identified some of the most dangerous driving behaviors that you should resolve to avoid in 2013.
Dangers Driving Behaviors to Avoid in 2013
According to the crash data from 2003 to 2007:
- A failure to yield the right-of-way was a contributing cause of 169,636 traffic accidents. To avoid these types of crashes, make a resolution to always come to a complete stop at a stop sign or at a red light intersection. Resolve to look carefully at the intersection before entering and not to cut other drivers off or try to make a quick turn when you aren't certain of the other car's speed. We pass dozens of intersections each day with indifference. The truth of the matter is that these are the most dangerous locations on the road.
- A failure to stay in the proper lane or running off the road was a driver-related contributing factor in 157,321 traffic crashes. Failure to remain in your lane can occur for a lot of reasons, from speeding and losing control of the car to not paying attention to the road, to inclement weather conditions. Resolve to always paying careful attention and driving at a safe speed for road conditions.
- Following improperly was a factor in 151,765 accidents. This refers to tailgating or following too closely behind the car in front of you. To avoid accidents caused by following improperly, resolve to leave a safe distance between your car and the vehicle in front. Usually, three to four seconds is a safe distance, which means when the car in front of you passes a fixed object, you shouldn't pass that same object until at least three to four seconds have passed. This will give you plenty of time to stop and avoid a crash.
- Driver inattention was a contributing factor in 52,707 crashes. To avoid these types of accidents, make a resolution to always pay careful attention to the road. Don't use your cell phone, definitely don't text, don't enter info into a GPS when driving and don't do other things that cause you to take your eyes off of the road.
These are some of the most dangerous driving behaviors that lead to a high number of crashes. You should resolve not only to avoid these behaviors but also to exercise reasonable caution and care and to obey all safe driving rules in 2013. By making, and keeping, this resolution, you can do your part to keep yourself safe on the road.
If you are involved in a Tennessee car accident, contact Hartsoe Law Firm, P.C. for a confidential consultation to discuss your rights at (865) 524-5657.
NTSB's Safety Wish List & Risks for Knoxville Drivers, Tennessee Injury Attorney Blog, November 16, 2012