Most Common Causes of Car Accidents

The moment any driver puts a key in the ignition and drives a vehicle onto the road, they are taking a risk. Car accidents can happen at any moment when a driver is behind the wheel and a number of different circumstances can lead to them. To stay as safe as possible while on the road, it’s important to understand the causes of car accidents and how to avoid them.


Whether it’s eating, riffling through the glove box or searching for a good song to play, we’ve all been guilty of taking our eyes off the road from time to time. But perhaps the worst type of distraction while driving is cell phone usage. According to the National Safety Council website, “more than 432,000 car accidents involving drivers using cell phones or electronic devices have occurred this year.” Cell phone usage while driving causes “26 percent of car accidents nationwide,” according to the NSC. In fact, nearly five percent of car accidents involve texting. Drivers talking on handheld or hands-free phones account for 21 percent of crashes. With electronic devices becoming intertwined with almost every aspect of our lives, it can be difficult to unplug and disconnect, but keeping a cell phone out of reach while driving might just save your life.

Drunk Driving

Every day, 28 people die as a result of drunk driving crashes, according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving. It’s estimated that drunk driving costs more than $100 billion a year. It is never safe to drive under the influence of drugs and alcohol but it is also illegal (TCA 55-10-401 and 55-10-403). The Tennessee Highway Patrol alone had 5,428 DUI Arrests from the fiscal year of 2011-2012. According to the law individuals are presumed to be under the influence of alcohol with a BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration) of .08%.


One of the top causes of accidents is due to speeding. In 2007, nearly 31 percent of all fatal crashes were “speeding-related resulting in 13,040 fatalities,” according to the NHTSA. Racing, driving too fast for conditions and exceeding the posted speed limit are all different categories of speeding and all of them are equally dangerous. Not only is speeding dangerous, but it’s costly as well. The NHTSA estimates that speeding-related crashes carry an economic cost of $40 billion per year.


Feeling sleepy? If so, it’s not a good idea to get behind the wheel of a vehicle. It’s extremely important to be fully awake, energized and alert while operating a vehicle. According to the NHTSA, drowsy driving causes more than 100,000 crashes a year. Of those crashes, 1,550 are fatal. Fatigued or drowsy drivers are likely to be alone in the vehicle, driving during the light night or early morning hours and younger (between ages 16 to 29). Many drowsy or fatigued drivers may also have an untreated or unrecognized sleep disorder, according to the NHTSA.

Road Rage

Perhaps one of the most overlooked causes of accidents is road rage. Since 1990, reports of “aggressive driving” have increased by seven percent every year, according to the AAA foundation for Traffic Safety. In order to keep calm while driving and avoid instances of road rage, the AAA recommends that drivers listen to music or books on tape, provide plenty of time to reach their destination and rearrange schedules to avoid traffic and congestion.

Be aware of your legal rights in the event you are involved in an auto accident that results in personal injury and consider hiring a lawyer if necessary.

Tennessee Drunk Driving | Labor Day Crackdown

Prevent Drunk Driving Accidents: Nationwide Campaign

1 in 4 people killed over Labor Day weekend in 2012 involved a car driver or motorcycle driver with a BAC almost double the legal limit. This is why there will be a nationwide effort to reduce drunk driving and drunk driving related car and motorcycle accidents over the Labor Day Weekend

Date of 2014 crack down: Friday August 15th to Monday September 1st.

The motorcycle campaign “Ride Sober or Get Pulled Over” is a branch of the over all Labor Day Crack Down:  “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over”. This part of the campaign is specifically targeted towards motorcycle drivers and passengers due to the large percentage of fatal crashes per registered motorcycles.

What will the campaign do to prevent drunk driving ?Young Man receiving a breathalyzer test for suspected drunk driving

There will be several ways the campaign will be enacted

  • Public Awareness: Signs, TV and web Ads, High Visibility Kick-off Events
  • Added Police Patrols and Overall police Units
  • The No Refusal Program: Officers will be able to quickly take blood samples from drivers suspected of drunk driving, if they refuse a breathalyzer
  • Sobriety Check Points: In high traffic areas and places with a history of fatal car accidents and motorcycle wrecks

 Why a Focus on Motorcycle Riders?

Motorcycle-related deaths have increased by 55% since 2000 (  This is one reason for this year’s Ride Sober or Get Pulled Over Campaign. Part of the nationwide Labor Day Crackdown by the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), The campaign targets drunk drivers in an effort to reduce drunk driving related fatalities. Motorcycle riders are receiving special attention because more than 1 in 4 motor cycle riders that were killed in 2012 were legally drunk. The NHTSA states that the percentage of drunk motorcycle riders fatally injured goes up 64% on weekend nights.

 Motorcycle Fatalities: Prevention that’s Proven to Work

The end of Summer and the start of Autumn is a great time to get out and ride. Make sure to stay safe by following these three Rules

 Always where a DOT Approved Helmet while riding

  • The NHTSA estimates wearing a motorcycle helmet reduces the chance of death in a motorcycle crash by 37%.
  • Almost half (42%) of motorcyclists fatally injured in 2010 were not wearing a helmet.
  • Riders without helmets are 40% more likely to die from a head injury than someone wearing a helmet
  • In the state of Tennessee riders of all ages are required to wear a helmet while on a motorcycle

Don’t drive drunk

  • More than 1 in 4 (27%) of all motorcyclists involved in fatal crashes in 2012 were legally drunk
  •  The percentage of drunk motorcycle riders fatally injured goes up 64% on weekend nights

Daytime Headlight

  • Make sure your headlight is on even during the day time. This helps you to be seen by other drivers and increases your safety
  • Tennessee State Law requires motorcycle drivers to have their headlights on during the daytime

Remember: If you are the motorcycle driver, you have a high risk of being the one killed in a fatal accident.



Tennessee Driving Resources | Links to Keep you Moving and Stay Safe

Tennessee On-line Driving Resources

Here at the Thomas Law Firm we strive to help keep the public informed of their legal rights. In the spirit of providing information and resources to the public we have put together a list of Tennessee Driving  Related Resources to help keep you moving. Find anything from: a list of defensive driving schools, Highway Safety Laws, How to report a pot hole, and more!


Links to Keep you Moving in Tennessee

Defensive Driving Schools-List of TDOS Approved Defensive Driving Schools

Driver Services-A list of Driver Services Centers and Driver Licenses Info  -A privately owned website that is not owned or operated by any state government agency -Helping you navigate the Tennessee DOS since 1999

Tennessee Online Traffic School – Online traffic school course provided by the American Safety Council (ASC)

Governors Highway Safety Association -The State’s Voice on Highway Safety  -List of key highway safety laws in Tennessee.

Tennessee Department of Transportation Travel Page – Tennessee Department of Transportation- Traffic Info,State Maps

 T-DOT Home Page– T-DOT’s Home Page-Recent T-DOT News and other resources

Printable Tennessee Auto accident Form – Form that must be filed with the Department of Safety, if involved in an automobile crash

Top Ten Traffic Safety Laws for TN Visitors  -Traveling in Tennessee? Here are the top ten traffic safety Laws for TN Visitors

TN Driver Handbook -PDF Version of the Tennessee Driver Manual

Driver License Manual-PDF version of the Tennessee Comprehensive Driver License Manual

State Driving Law– What will cause me to lose my license ?

TN Traffic Safety – Great Resource for TN traffic information and education

Laws for Cyclists and Pedestrians– Comprehensive list of laws and safety info for Cyclist and Pedestrians

TN State Motorcycle Laws  –  American Motorcyclist Association provides a guide to TN Motorcycle Laws

 National Motorists Association    – TN Motorist Information   -National Motorists Association


Links From The Thomas Law Firm

How to Reduce Your Chances of a Car Wreck

Are you Liable for Someone Else’s Driving?

5 Safe Driving Tips You Should Know

5 TN State Driving Laws You Need to Know

Tractor Trailer Wrecks In Tennessee 

2014 National Drunk Driving Enforcement Crack Down Aims to Save Lives



“Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over”

beer-keysThat is the message from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The Labor Day Weekend will be the focus of a nation wide campaign aimed to reduce drunk driving and driver impaired related accidents. This program goes into effect nation wide from August 13 to September 1 2014.  The NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and  DOT (U.S. Department of Transportation) want to reduce  the preventable crime of drunk driving and save lives.



How will the Drunk Driving Crack Down Work?

  •  Increasing State Enforcement efforts: Added police units and patrols
  •  Raising Public Awareness: Media Adds, Signs, and highly visible kick-off events
  •  Use of Sobriety Check Points: Placed where they will be most effective
  •  The No Refusal Program: Allows law enforcement to quickly obtain a warrant for a blood sample from drivers suspected of being impaired, if they refuse a breathalyzer test

 Why is the NHTSA Focusing on Labor Day Weekend?

  •  The reason for this campaign is clear. In 2012 there were 147 drunk-driving fatalities during the Labor Day Weekend.
  • The NHTSA says, “throughout the year someone is killed in an alcohol-impaired-driving crash every 51 minutes, on average”.  Additionally, one in three traffic fatalities are in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes.
  • A highly visible show of enforcement can  reduce drunk-driving fatalities by up to 20 percent.
  • Of the 390 people killed in traffic crashes over Labor Day weekend in 2012, one in four were in crashes involving a driver or motorcycle operator with a BAC of .15 or higher –that’s almost double the legal limit nationwide.
  • More than three-fourths (76%) of all drunk-driving fatalities over Labor Day weekend 2012 occurred between 6 p.m. and 5:59 a.m.
  • Young drivers from 18 to 34 years old are over represented in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes, especially over the Labor Day holiday. That weekend in 2012, 48 percent of young drivers killed in crashes were drunk. In every state, it’s illegal to drive with a BAC of .08 or higher, and it’s illegal for anyone under 21 to drink at all.

 *Statistics from


Additional Info About the Campaign 

Most areas will have sobriety check points during  the Labor Day weekend. Law Enforcement will be placing check points in highly visible areas and in places where crashes often happen. In addition, this campaign will include the No Refusal program. This will allow law enforcement to quickly obtain a warrant for a blood sample from drivers suspected of being impaired, if they refuse a breathalyzer test. The NHTSA is trying to highly publicize No Refusal to try and decrease the amount of impaired drivers during the Labor Day weekend.



The NHTSA has provided safety tips  to help drivers and passengers stay safe this Labor Day weekend—and all year long.

  • Plan a safe way home before you start the Labor Day festivities.
  • Before drinking, designate a sober driver. If you wait until you’re impaired, you’re more likely to make a bad decision.
  • If you’ve been drinking, take a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation.
  • Use your community’s sober ride program.
  • If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact local law enforcement immediately. You could save a life.
  • If you know someone who is about to operate a motorcycle or drive while drunk, be a true friend and take their keys. Help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely.

For more information on the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign, please visit

You can expect more of these campaigns to continue in the future. Be sure to read more of our Safe Driving Tips and stay current on Tennessee State Driving Laws.

In the event you are in an auto accident, be sure to have a car wreck plan in place and know what to do before it happens.


Semi-Truck Wrecks in Tennessee | Personal Injury Law Firm

Semi-Truck Wrecks : What causes an accident?

Any type of auto accident can be dangerous and cause harm to you and your loved ones. When dealing with tractor-trailers and other large trucks, the risk is even greater. So whether you are driving down Tennessee’s I-65, or driving your family for a summer vacation, it is important to be aware of your surroundings to help keep you and your family safe.  Below we will take a look at the most common causes of semi truck accidents.

Driver Related Factors In a Semi-Truck Accident

A lot of people have dealt with some of these issues, but when you are in a vehicle weighing up to 80,000 lbs (at least 10,000 lbs ) it puts others in serious danger considering most people are driving cars weighing more around 2,000 lbs.

  • Impairment: This can include a variety of things. Illness, fatigue, alcohol use, illegal drug use, prescription drug use, over the counter drugs,
  • Traveling too fast for conditions
  • Running out of the travel lane, either into another lane or off the road
  • Vehicle loss of control due to traveling too fast for conditions, cargo shift, vehicle systems failure, poor road conditions, or other reasons
  • Colliding with the rear end of another vehicle in the truck?s travel lane
  • Unfamiliarity with roadway
  • Not paying attention
  • Following too closely
  • Driver fatigue-could lead to poor judgment or slow reaction times
  • Physically Impaired due to health: Heart attack, seizure or other issues
  • Illegal maneuver
  • Inadequate evasive action (did not take steps an experienced driver should take to prevent an accident and avoid injury or damage)
  • Aggressive driving behavior
  • Unfamiliar with vehicle
  • Driver’s lack of experience
  • Conversation (on phone,radio,or person in the cab)
  • Under pressure to operate even under fatigue
  • In a hurry prior to crash
  • Self induced legal work pressure
  • Upset prior to crash (drivers emotional state)

 Work Related Issues

  • Under pressure to accept additional loads
  • Under pressure to operate even under fatigue
  • Required to accept short notice trips
  • Work schedule pressure


  • Traffic flow interruption (congestion, previous crash)
  • Roadway Related Factors (construction zones, roads in disrepair)
  • Weather Related Factors
  • Sight Obstructed by Road/Other Vehicle
  • Other Vehicle Obscured (by Glare/Headlights, etc)

Issues with the vehicle or rig:

There is also the possibility that a vehicle related problem, or issue  with the truck load contributed and perhaps cause the accident.

Some of these are:

  • Brake Failure, or other brake problems
  • Cargo shifts and causes vehicle control loss or Cargo not being secured correctly
  • Vehicle system failure leads to vehicle control loss
  • Blowout,flat tire,tire deficiency
  • Wheel falls off
  • Jackknife
  • Overweight
  • Light Failure
  • Vehicle causes obstruction of driver’s view
  • Engine, Fuel System, or Exhaust Deficiency
  • Transmission Failure
  • Reflective Tape Missing/Obscured
  • Suspension frame deficiency
  • Problem with the towing unit

How to reduce chances of car accidents and wrecks

Coming off the heels of Memorial Day weekend, many of us are looking forward to a summer season filled with barbecues and warm weather. But while Memorial Day may have signaled the unofficial start of summer, it also kicked off the most dangerous driving season for teens.

“The period between Memorial Day and Labor Day is considered ‘The 100 Deadliest Days of Summer,’ for teen drivers, according to the National Safety Council. In fact, seven out of the top 10 deadliest driving days occur within the summer months, according to NSC.

One reason that summer is so dangerous for teen drivers is due to school being out. More teens are out on the road during this time of the year at any given time of the day, which is why it is very important to remind teens to stay safe behind the wheel.

To help raise awareness about the dangers of summer driving for teens, the Tennessee Governor’s Highway Safety Office recently launched the SafeSummerTN campaign. According to the campaign, “only 25 percent of parents have had a serious talk with their kids about driving.”

Make sure your teens know the dangers and are following these safe driving tips during the summer months:

Always Buckle Up – According to SafeSummerTN, teens are less likely to wear a seat belt. So before you or a family member puts the car in drive, make sure everyone buckles up. Drivers in the state of Tennessee are required to wear safety belts while operating a motor vehicle in Tennessee (TCA 55-9-603).

Avoid Distractions – Tell your teen to avoid distractions such as loud music and mobile devices. Also, make a family pact to not text and drive. Not only is texting and driving extremely dangerous, it’s also illegal in the state of Tennessee (TCA 55-8-199).

Don’t Drive After Drinking – According to the NSC, an alcohol-related driving death happens every 51 in the United States. The Tennessee Highway Patrol alone had 5,428 DUI Arrests from the fiscal year of 2011-2012. According to the law individuals are presumed to be under the influence of alcohol with a BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration) of .08%.

Limit Passengers – It’s important that teen drivers focus when they’re behind the wheel. One way to help ensure this is to limit the number of passengers in a vehicle. The risk of a teen driver having a fatal crash increases by 44% when passengers are in a vehicle, according to the National Safety Council.

Make a Schedule and Curfew – Make sure teens keep to a schedule and have a set destination before they get behind the wheel.

Parents can find more information regarding Tennessee state driving laws here as well as on the SafeSummerTN website.

18 Wheeler Accidents | Tennessee Personal Injury Lawyers

Car Accidents with Large Trucks

The majority of car wrecks involving large trucks were pulling semi-trailers at the time of the accident. Specifically, 62% of large trucks were pulling semi-trailers in fatal crashes and 48% in nonfatal crashes. For fatal crashes,“Driver-related factors” were attributed to 34% of the large truck drivers (according to the U.S. department of Transportation).


In addition, it shows that a “collision with another motor vehicle”, caused injury or property damage in 76% of fatal crashes and 80% of injury crashes. Of these, the overwhelming majority (91% fatal,94% injury) involved the cars you and I drive everyday: passenger vehicles.

The reality is, no matter what the statistics happen to be, they don’t really matter when you or a loved one is injured or killed in an 18 wheeler truck accident. Those are just numbers. Your loss. Your pain. That is what’s real.

You also have to take into account: damage to your vehicle, (often times in need of total replacement) any impact to your quality of life, (physical,emotional and mental health),and ability to perform your job.

Tractor Trailer Wreck Issues & Causes

On top of all the other issues you have to consider in an auto accident, there are even more factors at play in accident that involve large trucks. The driver could be under pressure from their employer to perform or just trying to make a living. This can contribute to the top driver related causes in fatalities for accidents with large trucks. Such as: speeding (including driving too fast for road or weather conditions), driver distraction, various forms of impairment (illness,sleepiness, alcohol), not staying in the correct lane, and obscured vision (according to the FMCSA).

In addition, anytime you are dealing with a commercial vehicle, the complexity of determining who is liable for damages increases. You have the driver of the vehicle (18 wheelers), the trucking company (or other commercial vehicle company) (usually the employer), the insurance company, and maybe even the vehicle or trailer manufacturer.

Semi-Truck Wreck: What to do

When you are involved in a crash with a 18 wheeler, no matter who is at fault, you run a much higher risk of injury and death then the 18 wheeler. Always pay attention while driving and follow these safe driving tips. Caution and observation are your best chances of staying clear of injury. In the event you are in an accident, make sure to follow these steps and find a knowledgeable and reputable personal injury lawyer.

Are you Liable for Someone Else’s Driving?


When another person’s driving negligence could cause you to be sued

With the majority of car accident cases, determining who is at fault is the main issue in regards to compensation and liability. Generally, this means that one driver’s negligence or reckless driving caused the accident and is therefore liable for damages. You might not be aware however, that there are some circumstances that you could be held liable for a car wreck and be sued for negligence even though you were not the person driving the vehicle or even in the car at the time of the incident.

Responsibility of one person’s negligent actions (in this case while driving) to another person can fall under Vicarious Liability, or imputed negligence. This type of negligence results when two people have a certain relationship. These could include employer-employee or parent-child relationships.

You should know the circumstances in which you could be held liable for another person’s action to protect yourself from being sued, or if you are in a car wreck and need to seek compensation for personal injury and damage to your vehicle.

Here are several situations when the law could assign fault (liability) to a person other than the driver of the vehicle:


Children Driving their Parent’s Car

 Parents can be liable for their child’s negligent driving if they allow their child to use the family car in many states. This is due to laws and legal theories such as: Negligent entrustment-where one party (the entrustor), or parent in this situation, is held liable for negligence because they negligently (knowingly) provided another party (the entrustee) or child in this situation, with the vehicle when the parent is aware the child is inexperienced,incompetent,reckless,or unlicensed.

Then there is The family purpose doctrine– which holds the owner of the car (usually the mother or father) liable for damages to others when a member of the family is driving the vehicle ( regardless of permission being given or not).This is because the vehicle is owned for family purposes.The application of this law can vary from state to state.

The person who signs a minor’s application for a driver’s license will make that person legally responsible(therefore liable) for negligent driving of the minor in some states. In most cases the parent will be the one to sign their child’s application, holding them liable for the negligent driving of the child

Employees Driving an Employers Car

Employers are by law, held responsible for the negligent driving of employees when the employee is performing duties related to their job. The law can hold one party liable for the wrongful acts of another party when the two parties have certain relationships with each other under vicarious liability.

So for example, if an employee of yours is driving a company car during work hours and their negligent driving (going well over the speed limit for example) causes an accident with another car you will be held liable for the damages your employee caused to the other driver and their vehicle.

You Knowingly Allowed an Unfit or Incompetent Person to Use Your Car

Negligent Entrustment can also be applied outside of family relationships. If you allowed another driver to use your car and they are unfit to drive, and that person’s negligent driving caused a car wreck, you would be held liable for personal injuries and other damages resulting from the accident. With these cases it is up to the person bringing the lawsuit (plaintiff) to prove the entrustor (car owner)was aware, or should have been aware, the entrustee (driver you allowed to use your car) was not fit to drive (or incompetent) when the permission to drive your vehicle was given.

How do I know if a person is not fit to drive?

There are several types of people that, if you lend your car to, could cause you to be liable for the damages caused by the driver while operating your vehicle.

This can include:

  • Underage or unlicensed drivers

  • Intoxicated drivers

  • Drivers suffering from an illness that affects their ability to drive

  • Drivers with a known history of reckless driving

  • Elderly Drivers (if there advanced age has caused them to be unfit to drive)


You Allowed an Individual to Drive Your Car

Lastly, it is important to know that in some states the law holds the car owner liable for the negligent driving actions of anyone operating their vehicle. Unlike the previously mentioned circumstances, no special relationship is required. In states with these laws, when a car owner gives permission to an individual to drive their vehicle, the owner is responsible for negligent driving of the person driving your car.


In the event you are in a car accident make sure to follow these steps.Then you should speak with a qualified personal injury lawyer when deciding if you need to sue after the car wreck to seek compensation for damages caused by another driver’s negligence.

Car Wrecks and Negligence

 How to determine who is at fault

After you have covered the immediate steps on What to do after a vehicle accident, you will need to consider seeking compensation for injuries received to you and others in the car, as well as damage to your vehicle.You may have to consider suing after your car wreck to gain this compensation. At the very least you will have to file a claim with your insurance provider. A key part of receiving compensation will be determining who is at fault in the traffic accident.This generally means figuring out who was negligent (and therefore liable for damages).

Often times it can be clear which party was negligent but it is helpful to know what rules or laws the individual violated. You can reinforce your argument to an insurance company (or judge)  that someone else was at fault for an accident if you can present documentation and support for your claim. These sources could help your argument.

Police Reports

In most car accident cases, the police will be called to the scene (especially if someone was injured). The officer at the scene of the incident will most likely make a written accident report.The report may indicate the officers belief that one person violated a traffic law and caused the accident. There may even be a citation issued for that violation. This information can be a good source of evidence demonstrating that the other person was at fault.

Be sure to obtain a copy of the accident report. There will be different methods of obtaining a copy of a crash report depending on which agency investigated the crash. (Tennessee Highway Patrol, County Sheriff’s office, or the city police department). You can check with the traffic division of the police department about getting a copy of the report. Additional information to help you obtain an accident report in Tennessee can be found at

State Traffic Laws

When building evidence for your claim that another driver was at fault for the car wreck, you should look at the state laws pertaining to driving.These statutes may show that a law was broken and can contribute to your argument.

Search for listings that may apply to your accident.These could include: failure to yield,speed limits,or texting while driving a vehicle. You can check with your local Driver Service Center (Driver License Manuals information, as well as many public libraries.

Some additional places that may help your research are:


If you find information that could apply to your wreck, be sure to copy down the information exactly as it appears as well as the statute number. This way you can reference the law when making your claim with the insurance company or talking with your legal representative.

“No-Doubt” Liability

There are a couple of specific accident types where the other driver is usually at fault, and a lot of the time insurance companies will not bother to dispute the claim.Your argument may be easier to prove if you are involved in one of these.

Rear-End Collisions

When someone hits you from behind, it is very rarely your fault, no matter the reason why you stopped. As a general rule of driving, a vehicle is required to be able to stop safely if traffic is stopped in front of them. This can be accomplished by:

  • not following too close behind another vehicle

  • obeying the speed limit

  • always paying attention to the road

If the driver is unable to stop safely then they are not being as careful as the driver in front of them.

It is generally easy to prove a rear-end claim because the vehicle damage shows what happened during the accident.If car “A” ‘s front end is damaged and car “B” ‘s rear end is damaged then it is fairly clear which car struck the other.

There are times when the driver of the vehicle that hit you from behind may have a claim against someone else that caused you to suddenly stop, or perhaps a third car that caused their car to hit your vehicle. However, the responsibility of damages to yourself and damage to your car remain with the person that rear-ended you.

It is important to know that even if you have been rear-ended there are some instances where your own actions could reduce the compensation you receive due to the rule of “comparative negligence”, which is, “a rule of law applied in accident cases to determine responsibility and damages based on the negligence of every party directly involved in the accident”. For example if  you have a tail or brake light out ,or if you had mechanical issues with your vehicle but did not attempt to move the vehicle off the roadway.

Left-Turn Accidents

Accidents in which a car making a left-turn hits a car going straight in the other direction is another instance in which fault is generally easy to determine. The car making a left turn is almost always liable for the collision under these conditions. The location of vehicle damage often makes it hard for the driver to argue that the accident occurred differently than during a left turn.Remember that a basic driving rule is: cars making left turns are required to wait until they can complete the turn safely before making the turn in front of oncoming traffic.

There are however, a few  rare circumstances where this is not the case. These exceptions are not easy to prove but could affect the assignment of fault. Some instances to consider are: The car going straight ran a red light, the car going straight was driving excessively over the legal speed limit, or in very rare cases, the car turning left started turning when it was safe to do so but an unexpected circumstances caused the driver to decrease their speed or stop entirely.


 Be sure to check out this additional information on car accidents , personal injury,and Tennessee Driving Laws

Nationwide “Operation Safe Driver” Blitz

The week of October 20th-26th law enforcement agencies will be teaming up with the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) for “Operation Safe Driver“.  The goal is to “take aim at distracted driving and encourage driving safely around trucks”.

Here is why:

According to the CVSA:

  • Nearly 4,000 people are killed and 100,000 other are injured in large truck and bus crashes each year on the highways
  • A CDC survey last year revealed that 58% of high school seniors and 43% of high school juniors said they had texted or emailed while driving during the previous month
  • The National Highway Traffic Safetly Administration (NHTSA) reports that, for drivers 15-19 years old involved in fatal crashes, 21% of the distracted drivers were distracted by the use of cell phones
  • Of all drivers under the age of 20 involved in fatal crashes, 11% were reported as distracted at the time of the crash. This age group has the largest proportion of drivers who were distracted

On October 24th at Cookeville High School  the Tennessee Tennessee Trucking Foundation, with the support from the Tennessee Highway Patrol and the Tennessee Governor’s Highway Safety Office will be holding an event to help increase driver education and awareness about safe operations around commercial motor vehicles.

Last year the “Operation Safe Driver” campaign resulted in 40,000 commercial and passenger vehicle engagements at 1,245 locations throughout the U.S. and Canada. This year’s blitz is expected to be comparable to last year.

tn highway patrol safe driver program

Find more information about Operation Safe Driver at

For additional information on safe driving in Tennessee check out tips to help you avoid car wrecks, Tennessee Safe driving laws, and Truck and Tractor Trailer wrecks in Tennessee

Personal Injury & Wrongful Death Law firm with over 40 years experience