Distracted driving is a growing concern in the United States, with Tennessee being no exception. Distracted driving is any activity that diverts the driver’s attention away from the primary task of driving. This can include texting, using a cell phone, eating, drinking, or any other activity that takes your hands off the wheel, your eyes off the road, or your mind off of driving. In this article, we will explore what Tennessee is doing to combat the rise of distracted driving.
Understanding the Problem
The first step in combating distracted driving is understanding the scope of the problem. According to the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security, there were 24,601 distracted driving crashes in 2020, resulting in 6,302 injuries and 81 fatalities. That’s an increase from the previous year, and it’s a concerning trend.
Tennessee has taken legislative action to combat distracted driving. In 2018, the state passed a law that prohibits drivers from holding cell phones or another electronic devices while driving. The law also bans texting while driving. Violations of the law are punishable by fines, and repeat offenders may face the suspension of their driver’s license.
Public Awareness Campaigns
In addition to legislative action, Tennessee has launched public awareness campaigns to educate drivers about the dangers of distracted driving. These campaigns aim to change behavior and encourage drivers to put their phones down and focus on the road. The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security has partnered with the Tennessee Highway Patrol, the Tennessee Department of Transportation, and other organizations to launch these campaigns.
One of the most significant efforts in Tennessee to combat distracted driving is the Hands-Free Tennessee campaign. Launched in 2019, this campaign aims to educate drivers about the dangers of distracted driving and encourage them to use hands-free technology to stay connected while on the road. The campaign has partnered with several organizations, including the Tennessee Titans, to spread its message and encourage drivers to take the Hands-Free pledge.
Enforcing distracted driving laws is critical to reducing the number of distracted driving accidents. In Tennessee, law enforcement officers are trained to spot distracted drivers and take appropriate action. Officers may issue citations to drivers who are texting or holding a cell phone while driving. In addition, law enforcement agencies conduct periodic crackdowns on distracted driving to raise awareness and deter drivers from engaging in this dangerous behavior.
Technological solutions can also play a role in combating this. There are several apps available that can help drivers stay focused on the road. For example, some apps will automatically respond to texts with a message that the driver is currently unavailable. Other apps can detect when a driver is in a moving vehicle and automatically disable certain phone features.
Partnerships with Businesses
Tennessee has also partnered with businesses to combat distracted driving. Companies like Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint have pledged their support for the Hands-Free Tennessee campaign and are working to encourage their customers to drive safely. Other businesses are offering incentives for their employees to take the Hands-Free pledge, such as gift cards or additional time off.
It is a significant problem in Tennessee and across the United States. However, there are several initiatives underway to combat this dangerous behavior. From legislative action to public awareness campaigns, law enforcement efforts, and technological solutions, Tennessee is taking a multi-pronged approach to reduce the number of distracted driving accidents. By working together, we can make our roads safer for everyone.
What is distracted driving?
Distracted driving is any activity that diverts the driver’s attention away from the primary task of driving.
How many distracted crashes occurred in Tennessee in 2020?
According to the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security, there were 24,601 distracted crashes in Tennessee in 2020.
What is the penalty for violating Tennessee’s its law?
Violations of the law are punishable by fines, and repeat offenders may face the suspension of their driver’s license.
What is the Hands-Free Tennessee campaign?
The Hands-Free Tennessee campaign is a public awareness campaign launched in 2019 to educate drivers about the dangers of distracted driving and encourage them to use hands-free technology to stay connected while on the road.
How can technological solutions help combat it?
Technological solutions can include apps that automatically respond to texts with a message that the driver is currently unavailable or that detect when a driver is in a moving vehicle and automatically disable certain phone features.