Knox County distracted driving accidents increasing

Staying safe on the roadways means not being easily distracted by things that are happening in your vehicle. With the introduction of so many electronic gadgets, such as global positioning satellite direction devices, cellphones and a variety of media options, it has become increasingly easy for drivers to become too distracted to drive safely. Knox County is no exception to the increased incidence of gadgets leading to wrecks.

Overall, the number of accidents caused by driver distractions has been increasing. From 2004 to 2009, there were no instances of driver distraction causing an accident. In 2010, there were five accidents caused by distraction. In 2011, that number rose to 44 and continued to rise. In 2012, there were 74 accidents caused by driver distraction. In 2013, there were 80.

Just to give our readers an example of how crashes caused by specific distractions are increasing, consider GPS distraction. In 2004, no wrecks in the county were caused by the driver being distracted by a GPS unit. That zero tally remained true until 2011. In 2011, two crashes in the county were blamed on GPS distraction. The following year, that number increased to six. In 2013, the number was seven.

One distraction that seems like it isn’t increasing as quickly as the others is texting, PDA and Blackberry distraction. While the number of accidents attributed to that category was zero from 2004 through 2010, there were four accidents with that cause in 2011 and 23 in 2012. That seemed to be the apex of the accidents. The number of accidents caused by this category decreased to 10 in 2013, but seems to have increased again in 2014 with 14 accidents attributed to this category in a year-to-date report published in September 2014.

Anyone who is injured in an accident caused by driver distraction has the right to seek compensation for his or her injuries. Knowing how to go about the process is the first step to getting the compensation that can reduce the financial strain of the accident.

Source: Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security, “Tennessee Traffic Crash Involved Drivers – Driver Actions by County” Dec. 28, 2014