The holiday season can often mean a lot more drivers on the road travelling to spend time with family and friends. Because of the number of people on the road, causing traffic congestion, intersections that are dangerous year-round can require extra caution as you navigate the roads this holiday season.
According to data gathered by WMC Action News 5, the most dangerous intersections in Memphis were:
- I-240 and Walnut Grove, where 256 crashes happened
- I-40 and Sycamore View Road, where 227 crashes happened
- I-240 and Lamar Avenue, where 195 crashes happened
- I-240 and Poplar Avenue, where 184 crashes happened
- I-240 and I-55, where 125 crashes happened
Additional dangerous spots identified by recent data as containing some of the highest rates of distracted driving nationwide include:
- Lamar and Holmes
- South Lauderdale Street and Mallory,
- Compress Drive and South Lauderdale Street
WHAT CAUSES THE HIGH NUMBER OF ACCIDENTS AT THESE INTERSECTIONS?
The accidents at these high-traffic intersections were most often attributed to:
- Speeding drivers
- Distracted drivers
- Construction zones
In particular, texting while driving contributes in a big way to these being the most dangerous intersections in Memphis. And although avoiding these intersections may help you avoid the risk of getting into a car accident, the underlying causes of the crashes at these intersections can be found at other intersections around the city. Therefore, drivers need to be more vigilant about avoiding the careless and reckless behavior that leads to crashes.
THE CONSEQUENCES OF TEXTING AND DRIVING
In 2020 alone, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimated that 3,142 people were killed in accidents caused by distracted drivers. Although there are many different causes of distracted driving, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s study focused on cellphone use while driving.
One particularly striking fact is that when a person takes his eyes off the road for even 5 seconds while traveling at a speed of 55 miles per hour, it is the equivalent of driving the length of a football field with his eyes closed. The risk of causing an accident while driving under these conditions is quite high, yet drivers continue to do it every day.
Texting while driving may be the most recognized danger of distracted driving related to a cell phone, but it is not the only danger. Even when drivers are using headsets, or other hands-free devices, they can still get distracted by the conversation. This is especially dangerous in busy Memphis intersections where attention should be on the road at all times. Hands-free devices are preferable to holding the phone while driving, but they are not a complete solution to the problem.
CIVIL AND CRIMINAL PENALTIES FOR DRIVERS WHO TEXT AND DRIVE
Tennessee is an at-fault state when it comes to car accidents. This means that a Tennessee driver who is found to have caused an accident is responsible for the property damage and personal injuries caused to others in a crash. If it can be shown that a driver was texting or talking on the phone at the time of the accident at a dangerous Memphis intersection, this information can be used to prove that the driver was negligent and caused the crash. There are ways that this information can be retrieved from a driver’s cellphone or phone records.
In some cases, if an accident results in the death of another person, the fact that a driver was texting can cause a jury to award punitive damages in addition to any other compensation awarded. Punitive damages can be awarded in cases where the at-fault driver acted recklessly. A person acts recklessly when he or she is aware of, but consciously disregards, a substantial and unjustifiable risk in a way that no reasonable person would. Punitive damages are not awarded in every personal injury case, but when they are awarded, it is done in order to send a message to others who may engage in similar behavior in the hopes that it would deter them.
In addition to the civil liability a driver faces for texting while driving, there are criminal penalties as well. Texting while driving is a misdemeanor crime in Tennessee, and a driver who is stopped by police can be issued a citation. However, if a person dies as a result of an accident caused by a distracted driver, there may be more serious criminal charges for the driver.
CONTACT AN ATTORNEY IF YOU WERE INVOLVED IN AN ACCIDENT AT ONE OF MEMPHIS’ MOST DANGEROUS INTERSECTIONS
If you are involved in a car accident at a dangerous intersection or elsewhere in Memphis, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and other losses you suffer as a result. For more information about how you can seek the compensation you deserve, contact the Law Offices of David E. Gordon. David Gordon is a highly respected personal injury attorney who is one of fewer than 2 percent of Tennessee lawyers that are Board Certified by the Tennessee Supreme Court.