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What are Tennessee’s distracted driving laws?

According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, there is currently no statewide ban on handheld devices for drivers in Tennessee. However, if you live or drive here, you should be familiar with some the distracted driving laws that are in place, such as the following:

  •        It is illegal for any driver to text behind the wheel in Tennessee.
  •        School bus drivers are not permitted to use handheld devices while there are students on board.
  •        Motorists who have either intermediate licenses or learner’s permits may not use a cell phone while driving.

The penalties for breaking these laws may include a fine and possibly a suspended license, if the behavior results in a serious traffic violation or accident.

Far worse, using a phone behind the wheel can lead to injury and even death. According to the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security, there were more than 21,000 crashes attributed to distracted driving in 2014. The agency reports that thousands of people lose their lives every year due to driver inattention.

Some drivers believe that using hands-free or wireless communication devices are a safer way to have a conversation while on the road. However, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety released a report that found that this kind of technology still takes a driver’s focus off the road and increases the risk for an accident.

Experts suggest avoiding all distractions while driving, which includes texting, talking on the phone, eating and grooming.

While this information may be useful, it should not be taken as legal advice.

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