Critics of distracted driving laws argue more needs to be done

How many times have you been driving and seen another driver do something dangerous? Maybe they swerve out of their lane, run through a stop sign or tear through a busy intersection without looking out for pedestrians. What we often see when drivers behave like this is that they are on their cellphone.

Cellphone distraction is a major problem in Tennessee. Since 2013, Tennessee has come in at the top of the list for traffic fatalities caused by cellphone distraction. This is certainly not a distinction to be proud of. One thing people feel would help the situation is a change in distracted driving laws.

Tennessee has some of the most lenient cellphone-related traffic laws. In fact, as we examined in this article on our website, the laws are so lenient that we missed out on receiving federal fund. To make matters worse, authorities argue that it is quite difficult to enforce the laws that are in place because currently it may be illegal to text, but it is not illegal to hold a phone, type something into it that isn’t a text or make calls.

In order to try and reduce the number of distracted driving crashes, lawmakers have proposed a new bill that would ban any use of a handheld phone behind the wheel. The offense would come with a $60 fine, but no points would be added to a driver’s record. Whether that bill will pass and have any impact on current distracted driving behaviors remains to be seen. 

What is known is that when people make the decision to text, send an email, browse Facebook or use their phone to take pictures while driving, they generally aren’t worried about paying a $60 fine. They don’t seem to even realize that they are putting the lives of everyone around them in danger.

If you or a loved one has been injured by a driver distracted by a cellphone, you may want to discuss your options for taking legal action against that person with an attorney. Not only can it help you pursue compensation you may deserve, it can also send a powerful reminder that distracted drivers can be held accountable when they hurt someone.