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Knoxville Motor Vehicle Accidents Law Blog

Motorcyclists face increased risk in accidents

Anyone who has ever ridden on a motorcycle in Tennessee knows the joy of being on two wheels and the feeling of freedom that may accompany the experience. Unfortunately bikers and their passengers also must be keenly aware of the increased risk they face relative to people in passenger vehicles if they are to be involved in a motor vehicle accident.

Science Daily indicates that the Canadian Medical Association Journal recently published research that shows exactly how much greater the risk of injury or death is to a motorcyclist than to someone in a regular car. A biker is three times more likely to be hurt in a crash than a driver or passenger in a car. When it comes to the chance of dying, that increases by five times for a person on a bike compared to a person in a car. Costs associated with accident injuries are also greater for bikers than for passenger car occupants and drivers by as much as six times.

Push to eliminate drunk driving deaths

Any person in Tennessee who has ever known someone who has been killed due to the negligence of a drunk driver understands the senselessness of these accidents. Despite some improvements in the past several decades, too many lives continue to be lost in drunk driving crashes. Finally, some are starting to push for yet even tougher actions in order to prevent more of these deaths.

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine recently published data that shows strong researched-based support for the fact that after consuming alcohol, a person's cognitive functioning begins to decline far sooner than when their blood alcohol content reaches 0.08 percent. In fact, such reduced abilities are seen when BAC levels reach 0.05 percent. That is nearly half of the current legal limit at which a person may be arrested for drunk driving.

Substance testing for truckers

Drivers who operate vehicles while under the influence of alcohol or drugs in Tennessee may well be one of the dangers on the road you fear the most. This is understandable indeed and then if you consider that an impaired driver might be a professional truck driver behind the wheel of a massive semi truck or other such vehicle, you might be even more worried.

It is due to the extreme risk this situation poses that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration created what it calls the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse. The clearinghouse itself is basically a database repository for testing and other information to be stored about truck drivers' drug and alcohol testing and any possible violations associated with them. There is a set of procedures that individuals or companies that employ truckers must follow to prevent allowing impaired drivers on the road.

Are Tennessee's roads getting any safer?

If you are one of the many people in Tennessee who has watched the evolution of automotive technology in recent years, you might assume that the advances being made are able to help lead to a reduction in motor vehicle accidents. Certainly this is part of the goal of the improving safety features and other elements in vehicles however it seems that progress in saving lives is not yet being seen.

According to records released from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Tennessee experienced a significant increase in the number of people killed in automobile crashes from 2015 to 2016. In 2015, there were 962 vehicular fatalities statewide. In 2016, that number rose to 1,041. The same trend was seen in Knox County where motor vehicle deaths jumped from 54 in 2015 to 70 the following year.

Drunk driver smashes into disabled vehicle

It would seem reasonable that people in Tennessee believe that drunk driving is not as much of a problem today as it has been in the past. With all of the public awareness and education campaigns throughout the year and especially during holiday times, drivers should know that operating a motor vehicle after consuming alcohol is something they should not do. Unfortunately there are too many people who fail to believe this it seems as they continue to engage in this dangerous behavior.

An example of this can be seen in a recent wreck that took place in Murfreesboro just last month. Reports indicate that not only was the driver at fault for the crash believed to be intoxicated but he also refused to comply with law enforcement officers by performing field sobriety test actions or providing a breath or blood sample for the purposes of testing his blood alcohol content.

Can autonomous cars eliminate crashes?

Perhaps the single most touted benefit of fully autonomous vehicles is improved public safety. Tennessee residents are told that this improved safety should come to them in the form of fewer accidents. Some may wonder if this is possible. Others wonder if it could ever be possible to eliminate all car accidents.

As explained by Scientific American, a self-driving vehicle's ability to avoid or prevent an accident from happening relies on two basic things. One of these is effective technology that can accurately detect potential hazards. With this information, the vehicle may then adjust accordingly to avert a crash from taking place. The other is the ability to proactively consider the actions of another vehicle whether autonomous or human-driven and then respond appropriately.

Recognizing signs of emotional trauma

When people are involved in a car accident in Tennessee, they may be most worried about the physical injuries they incurred. Sometimes, though, emotional injuries remain long after physical wounds have healed. It is important to recognize signs of emotional trauma so people know when they need to seek help.

Emotional trauma can come in many forms. According to FindLaw, someone may often feel overwhelmed or lonely or might become irritable or moody. Some people feel fatigued or have nightmares and trouble sleeping. A person's behavior may also change. Some people become socially withdrawn and others might develop compulsive habits. All of these are signs that a person has suffered from emotional trauma after the car crash.

How do you help children after a parent dies in a car accident?

When your spouse dies in a car accident in Tennessee, your entire family is emotionally affected by this event. This kind of incident can be especially traumatic for children and it is important to know how you can help them during this difficult time. 

There are a few things you can do to help children as they mourn their deceased parent. According to, it is important to talk with your children about the incident that led to their parent's death. However, your children may not always want to talk for long periods of time and they may not be ready to discuss the event. It is important to let them decide when to end the conversation and when they continue it. When your child is ready to talk, you should usually answer his or her questions with age-appropriate answers.

Can correct braking prevent accidents?

Tennessee motorcyclists have likely considered what they might do if they get into a situation that requires quick braking. Will you be able to stop in time? Will you end up skidding or falling from your bike? These are all reasonable questions. Fortunately, correct braking can actually keep you safe and lower your chances of crashing, rather than add to them.

According to Road Guardians, a lot of braking-related incidents can be prevented through proper braking techniques. A number of accidents happen because motorcyclists treat their brakes the same way they might treat car brakes.

Common causes for accidents not relating to alcohol

Drivers in Tennessee and across the entire country are aware of the fact that drunk driving is dangerous and can end lives. But what about the other common road hazards? Here's a look at some of the top causes for crashes that don't involve alcohol.

Distracted driving comes in at the top of the list. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has named distracted driving as one of the biggest current threats to drivers. The numbers continue to worsen by the year, showing that it's a persistent problem. Hazards can come in the form of visual, cognitive, or manual distraction. In short, distracted driving can involve taking one's eyes off the road, letting thoughts drift, or physically removing hands from the steering wheel.

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