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Knoxville Motor Vehicle Accidents Law Blog

Fall season driving dangers

Motorists in Tennessee need to be able to identify when drivers are driving drunk so they can take preventive actions to avoid them. Drivers who engage in intoxicated driving are not only a danger to themselves, they are a danger to their passengers and other motorists who are on the road. Relying on law enforcement and the decision-making skills of drivers who drink are not sufficient enough to prevent this type of behavior from occurring. By learning what actions and behaviors drivers tend to exhibit when they are intoxicated, the roads can become a safer place.

According to CDL Life, some of the less obvious signs of drunk driving are the use of wrong turn signals and failing to signal at all; driving much slower than posted speed limits and flow of traffic and excessive use of brakes and tailgating. The more obvious indicators that a driver has had too much to drink include drinking while driving and swerving on the road.

Signs that a driver is drunk

Motorists in Tennessee need to be able to identify when drivers are driving drunk so they can take preventive actions to avoid them. Drivers who engage in intoxicated driving are not only a danger to themselves, they are a danger to their passengers and other motorists who are on the road. Relying on law enforcement and the decision-making skills of drivers who drink are not sufficient enough to prevent this type of behavior from occurring. By learning what actions and behaviors drivers tend to exhibit when they are intoxicated, the roads can become a safer place.

According to CDL Life, some of the less obvious signs of drunk driving are the use of wrong turn signals and failing to signal at all; driving much slower than posted speed limits and flow of traffic and excessive use of brakes and tailgating. The more obvious indicators that a driver has had too much to drink include drinking while driving and swerving on the road.

What factors increase the likelihood of a fatal motor accident?

As you leave your home and set out for the open road, the last thing on your mind is getting fatally injured in a serious car accident. No one really thinks that they are going to get hurt or killed in a collision, and as a result, many people fail to take certain precautions when it comes to protecting their lives, as well as the lives of others on the road. There are several factors that can increase your chances of becoming involved in a deadly auto accident in Tennessee. By knowing what these factors are, you may be able to avoid them and possibly save a life in the process.

One of the easiest ways to prevent a fatal car accident is to wear your seat belt. It’s not a fallacy that wearing a seat belt saves lives and can keep you from sustaining serious injuries or even being killed in an accident. According to eHow.com, speeding is another common cause of car accidents, and is one that drivers can easily control. It is especially important to slow down while driving in bad weather conditions, which is yet another factor in deadly accidents.

Make sure that your vehicle is ready for winter weather

As the hot summer days begin to cool and the leaves begin to turn the landscape into a beautiful colorful masterpiece, car owners should start thinking about winter-proofing their vehicles. Winter weather conditions, such as snow, ice, rain, sleet, fog and winds can spell disaster for motorists in Tennessee and across the U.S. It only takes a small oversight or a mechanical system defect for a mishap to occur. Not only do these problems endanger the lives of car owners and their passengers, but they put other peoples’ lives at risk as well.

According to Today.com, there are several crucial elements to performing a pre-winter car inspection. These include the following:

  •          Change the windshield wiper blades to ensure a clean swipe.
  •          Get the right type of oil that won’t thicken in colder climates.
  •          Make sure that the tire pressure is adequate as air pressure tends to drop in cold temperatures.
  •          Consider snow tires for better traction and stability in bad weather conditions.
  •          Top off the vehicle’s liquids, such as antifreeze, coolant and windshield wiper fluid.

How much is too much to drink and drive?

While you may understand that getting behind the wheel of a vehicle is illegal after consuming alcohol, there are a number of people in Tennessee who continue to engage in this dangerous behavior. Surprisingly, some of these negligent motorists may believe that they are fully capable of driving when they get into their vehicle. Sadly, they may end up seriously injuring or killing an innocent person as a result of the misconception. This may leave you and other drivers in the state to wonder how much alcohol people can consume before they are considered unable to drive a vehicle.

According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, even a small amount of alcohol in the blood can create a potential hazard for drivers on the road. The blood alcohol content limit in the state is 0.08 percent. However, there are some cases where a driver who has a BAC level measuring less than this amount may cause a serious drunk driving car accident. The key is that the blood alcohol level varies depending on your gender, weight, how fast you’ve consumed the alcohol and whether you have any food on your stomach.

ESC systems on trucks may increase driving safety

Many motor vehicles and motorcycles come equipped with electronic stability control. While these machines are essential for the safety of motorists, officials believe that adding this technology to tractor trailers could not only improve the safety of truck drivers, but everyone else on the road as well. At Pryor, Priest and Harber, we understand how truck accidents can leave victims with serious injuries or dealing with the loss of a loved one. That is why big rig safety is crucial.

When truckers are faced with heavy traffic conditions or have a vehicle pull out directly in front of them, they often require a longer distance to slow down and/or stop. Furthermore, trucks that brake while traveling in bad weather conditions or with a poorly distributed load may be more likely to tip over, skid or jackknife. Electronic stability control systems can prevent this from happening by detecting when a truck is understeering, oversteering, hydroplaning or swerving, and then helping the truck driver to gain control of the big rig’s steering mechanism.

Aging eyes may increase risk of serious car accident

As people get older, their ability to detect and react to certain stimuli diminishes over time. This includes the critical sense of vision, which is vital to people who wish to drive on the open road. When people suffer from a reduced ability to see, they run the risk of causing a catastrophic car accident, as well as injuring or even killing an innocent person. It is crucial that people understand the importance of good eyesight before the get behind the wheel of vehicle.

Even though a driver may pass the standard eye test that is given when he or she obtains a driver’s license, his or her eyesight may still cause problems when it comes to making quick decisions. For example, the National Safety Council reported that a 50-year-old may have difficulty seeing in low light conditions when compared to a 20-year-old. Since a driver’s license requires renewal every five years in Tennessee, a person could begin to experience eyesight difficulties in the years after obtaining a license.

Two people killed: Officer charged with reckless driving

Even law enforcement officers in Tennessee must practice safe driving habits when traveling alongside other vehicles on the road. Just like other motorists, law officers run the risk of injuring and killing innocent people if they choose to drive recklessly or make negligent decisions while behind the wheel.

A Bartlett law officer was one who made a poor decision when he chose to speed through a major intersection in town. The speeding officer approached speeds of up 83 mph. Other motorists were not able to prepare for the speeding officer, as he did not have his siren lights on at the time the accident occurred.

Can ignition interlock devices save lives?

As you navigate the roadways in Knoxville, it is important to keep in mind that you may be traveling alongside an intoxicated driver. According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, 267 people were killed in drunk driving car accidents in 2014. This accounted for 27.8 percent of all motor vehicle accident fatalities in the state that year. In 2013, the state enacted a law that requires all people who are convicted of a DUI to have an ignition interlock device installed in their vehicles. Since that time, drunk driving deaths have decreased by 3.6 percent, and people hope that the number of people killed in these catastrophic accidents continues to decrease.

One reason why interlock devices help to reduce the DUI fatality rate is that they help to keep intoxicated drivers from operating vehicles. Before a driver can start the vehicle, he or she must blow a breath sample into a tube that is connected to a dashboard monitor. The machine then evaluates the sample for the presence of alcohol. If the driver has a blood alcohol content level that exceeds the set level, the car won’t start. Not only that, but the device will require motorists to submit random breath samples periodically while they are driving.

Poor tractor trailer maintenance can lead to disaster on the road

Tennessee car owners must keep their vehicles well-maintained in order to ensure that they are working properly on the road. The simplest oversight can lead to a flat tire or worn brakes that could potentially cause a devastating accident. Similarly, it is crucial that tractor trailers are routinely checked and properly cared for so that they don’t pose a threat to other vehicles on the road. According to the Federal Highway Administration, big rigs can weigh up to 80,000 pounds and, in some cases, can span a length of over 56 feet. At Pryor, Priest & Harber, we understand that people can be severely injured if a piece of equipment malfunctions or a safety device fails to work properly.

Trucking companies are required to conduct a detailed inspection of all the tractor trailers in the fleet at least once a year and keep complete documentation as to the condition of each truck, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. In addition, truckers must inspect vital truck parts prior to beginning their route. A surprising number of trucking companies and truck drivers, however, fail to perform these essential inspections, and as a result, put the lives of others on the road at risk.

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