Road accidents are a daily occurrence in Tennessee. Over 400 vehicle collisions take place on our roads each day, causing countless more injuries to the passengers inside. While car accident victims may hold the negligent party accountable for damages, victims will have to gather evidence of negligence in order to get compensation. For this reason, it is helpful to know the most common underlying causes of crashes—and how to pursue a claim involving each one.
Top Ten Behaviors That Cause Car Accidents in Tennessee
On average, there are 4,500 serious or fatal car crashes each year in Tennessee. Recent data from the Tennessee Department of Safety & Homeland Security reveals that, while the causes of these accidents vary, human error is almost always a factor.
The most common driver actions that result in crashes include:
- Tailgating. Failing to maintain a safe following distance is a leading cause of rear-end accidents, many of which are fatal at high speeds. Pictures of the accident scene can help victims prove that the driver behind you was following too closely.
- Failure to yield. Confusion over the right of way can lead to collisions with pedestrians in a crosswalk, roundabout injuries, and crashes into oncoming traffic. Witness statements are key to proving that the other driver did not follow the rules of the road.
- Failure to stay in lane. Drivers are more likely to drift between lanes or run off the road when they are tired or driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If the driver who struck you was having trouble driving in a straight line, police at the scene might have gathered evidence of drunk or impaired driving.
- Distracted driving. Driver inattention has been identified in over 300 crashes statewide so far this year. As driver cell phone use is the most common form of distraction, it is worth investigating whether the person who hit you was making a call, texting, or using the internet just before the crash.
- Reckless driving. A driver who is aggravated or in a hurry may weave in and out of lanes, increasing the risk of a sideswipe collision. Careful documentation of both vehicles and the at-fault person’s previous driving records may add weight to your claim.
- Speeding. Traveling too fast for conditions can cause anything from fender benders and single-car crashes to devastating head-on collisions. In addition to witness accounts, the impact of the crash can reveal vital details about how fast the driver was going before a collision.
- Improper lane changes. The simple act of failing to use a turn signal while entering a turn lane, exiting the freeway, or simply changing lanes can prove fatal for passengers in an adjacent lane. In these circumstances, the testimony of witnesses at the scene can be invaluable.
- Swerving. In some cases, maneuvers taken to avoid an accident can result in a different type of crash. Drivers who swerve to avoid hitting a pothole, bicyclist, or obstruction in the road may unintentionally roll their vehicles or strike stationary objects.
- Running a red light. Failing to stop at a traffic signal is a common cause of t-bone accidents, and it is also against the law. There may be speed cameras or security footage available that shows the at-fault driver attempting to “beat” the light.
- Improper turns. Failed turning maneuvers, especially when turning left, can be fatal for pedestrians as well as other drivers. Intersections are commonly equipped with security cameras, and this footage can clearly show an act of negligence.
If you or a loved one suffered a serious injury in a car accident, our lawyers can discuss your next steps in your free initial consultation—and we do not collect anything unless we secure a recovery for you. To learn more about your claim, please fill out the short contact form on this page or download a free copy of our book, The 10 Worst Mistakes You Can Make With Your Tennessee Injury Case.