Memphis Personal Injury Law Blog

How Can I Be a Better Driver?

As a Tennessee motorist, safety is a must. While you can’t change the actions of other drivers, the steps you take to be a safer, more conscientious driver will actually minimize your risk of an accident. KidsHealth.org offers the following tips in this case, which can help drivers both young and old stay safe when on the road.

Pay attention to your surroundings

Texting while driving can result in insurance premium increases

There has been plenty of communication about texting while driving. Government agency reports, blogs from concerned parents, website and legal ads all warn people about the extreme risks involved with distracted driving.

However, there is one risk that almost no one is talking about: A drastic increase in insurance premiums. People who have been handed distracted driving fines for cell phone use while driving face alarming insurance premium increase. In fact, since 2011, Tennessee drivers have faced some of the most dramatic insurance premium increases of any state in the United States.

What should I do when filing a renter's insurance claim?

Having renter's insurance is a responsible thing to do in case you suffer a loss while renting a property in Tennessee. However, as with any insurance policy, in order to be paid for your loss, you have to submit a claim. If you make a mistake during filing your claim, it could be denied.

According to Nationwide, to avoid issues when filing a claim, you should always make sure to get proper documentation. This includes taking pictures of the damage and damaged items. Do so before any clean up is done to document the aftermath of the incident that caused the loss. You also need to get documentation from the proper authorities, if applicable. For example, if your home was broken into, you would want a police report of the incident. Also, keep all receipts for any expenses you may have as part of the process of cleaning up or if you have to move somewhere else temporarily.

Who’s driving your kids to and from school? Are they safe?

Every parent has fears when the kids are old enough to start going to school. Will the kids make friends? Will they learn and perform well in school? But one of the most significant fears of parents when they start sending their kids to school is safety. Will the kids be safe, especially when traveling to and from school?

Unfortunately, there is no way to know for sure that your child will be safe during the daily commute. Obviously, we hope our kids’ school bus drivers will be sober, safe, law-abiding drivers, but there’s no way to know for sure. And the problem gets worse. As it turns out, one of the largest school bus contractors in the United States might also be the most dangerous.

The key to finding the right helmet to protect your head

Whether people use their bicycle as their sole source of transportation or simply as a way to exercise and enjoy nature, having a properly fitted helmet is critical to protecting their safety and wellbeing. Even in the most violent of collisions, bicyclists in Tennessee who do their research and invest in a high-quality helmet are much more likely to survive than those who do not have a good fitting helmet or opt not to wear a helmet at all. 

When people go shopping for a helmet, they should be looking for a product that meets their requirements in terms of fit and function in order to reduce the chances of being injured in a bicycle accident. Research suggests that nearly 90 percent of helmets entering customs in the U.S. were seized in the year 2017 because they were counterfeit and did not adhere to requirements for size and fit. People who take the time to visit a store that specializes in biking gear and has the resources to measure head circumference are making a smart decision and can reduce their chances of ending up with a counterfeit product. 

What should I do if involved in a hit and run?

It can happen to any Shelby driver, no matter how safe you are. Hit and runs will turn your world upside down, potentially depriving you of a reliable vehicle and leaving you responsible for an exorbitant repair bill. There are steps you can take to improve the situation however, as explained by State Farm below.

Get witness names and phone numbers

Do not underestimate the dangers of texting while driving

It is the same for most people in Tennessee and throughout the country: While everyone knows that texting while driving is dangerous, but almost no one actually changes their behavior. Almost everyone uses their smart phones while driving, risking the lives of everyone else on the road.

How bad is the problem of distracted driving, really? And what should you do to avoid accidents and to get the help you need if you have been in an accident?

What qualifies one to drive a school bus in Tennessee?

The stress associated with getting your kids to school each day in Shelby should be limited to the struggles that come with getting them out of bed or to remember to hand their homework in. How they get to school should be a worry-free process: just have them take the bus. Yet in doing so, you place a great deal of trust in the person hired by the school district to drive your kids around. 

Like most parents of school-age children, you probably assume that school district officials care as much about your kids' safety as you do, and thus ensure that all of their bus drivers are qualified and properly trained. While that may be the case in many instances, remaining compliant with bus driver rules and regulations can be a struggle. Knowing what these rules and regulations are can help you guarantee your district is on top of things (or show you where they may have failed should an accident occur). 

The most popular church group vans are also the most dangerous

This vehicle is practically synonymous with church youth groups and evangelistic groups in small local churches: The ubiquitous 15-passenger van. Most of us see these vans frequently, filled with high schoolers and youth ministers on canoe trips and other activities.

Do NOT Buy 15-Passenger Vans For Your Church Group

Right-of-way laws in Tennessee

Despite the attempts to raise awareness of the issue of recognizing motorcycles on Shelby's roads, many motorists still have a difficult time doing so. Sadly, such inattentive motorists likely suffer the least due to their carelessness (be it deliberate or unintentional). Indeed, information shared by the Insurance Information Institute shows that there were 5,286 motorcyclists killed on American roads in 2016. One of more common excuses offered up by motorists who have struck motorcyclists is that they were not aware that motorcycles had the same rights to the use of the road as traditional vehicles. 

Tennessee state law affords the same rights to roadway use to all vehicles, meaning that motorists must indeed yield the right-of-way to motorcyclists in any situation that calls for it. What are such scenarios? According to Sections 55-8-128 - 55-8-131 of the Tennessee state code for Motor and Other Vehicles, these include: 

  • A driver approaching an intersection yielding the right-of-way to any vehicles that have already entered the intersection from a different highway or drive
  • The driver on the left yielding the right-of-way to the driver on the right when two vehicles arrive at an intersection from a different highway or drive at the same time
  • A driver intending to turn left at an intersection yielding the right-of-way to anyone approaching the intersection from the opposite direction
  • A driver approaching an intersection at a through highway (with the intent to turn on to the highway) yielding the right-of-way to any approaching vehicles already traveling on the through highway
  • A driver intending to cross a through highway from an intersection yielding the right-of-way to any approaching vehicles already traveling on the through highway

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