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Teen drivers in Tennessee should take precautions in summer

According to a news release from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and AAA as well as statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, summer is the most dangerous time of the year for a teen driver in Tennessee or any other state to be in an automobile accident. The main reason is distracted driving: Teens are involved in more accidents involving injuries and death between Memorial Day and Labor Day than any other period.

According to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, approximately 11 percent of drivers under the age of 20 were involved in a crash related to some distraction, such as texting. Like many other states, Tennessee bans all cell phone use for novice drivers and texting for all drivers in the state. Even just reaching for something inside the car while driving can significantly increase the odds of having an accident.

The Decide to Drive campaign, partially sponsored by AAA, is one of several efforts to curb distracted teen driving. The campaign includes a "wreck-less checklist" that includes reminders for teen drivers before getting behind the wheel. The checklist includes reminders to adjust mirrors, wear appropriate Bluetooth earpieces, pre-load mp3 playlists and put on a seat belt prior to starting up the car.

The campaign also reminds drivers to pull over if they are distracted for any reason. Victims receiving a personal injury as a result of a distracted driver may have a case against the negligent driver if it is proven that he or she was distracted at the time of the accident. A car accident victim in Tennessee may seek compensation for trauma, medical bills and other expenses related to reckless or distracted driving.

Source: U.S. Department of Transportation, "Distracted Driving Laws: Tennessee," 2012

Source: kiiitv, "Summer deadliest time of year for teen drivers", June 04, 2013

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