June 9th, 2021|
For many people, the phrase “distracted driving” is synonymous with cell phone usage behind the wheel. And for good reason—smartphones are omnipresent in our lives, and it’s all too easy to sneak a quick glance at yours to check an email, send a text message, or even browse a website. But it’s possible to be dangerously distracted without ever taking your eyes off the road.
In addition to visual distractions, there are two other types of distractions that can be extremely dangerous:
- Manual distraction—This type of distraction occurs when you take your hands off the wheel. It’s common when you’re reaching for something in your glove box, center console, passenger seat, floorboard, or backseat. Even though your eyes are on the road, the fact that your hands aren’t means you can’t react in time to avoid a crash.
- Cognitive distraction—It’s entirely possibly to have your eyes on the road, your hands on the wheel, and still be distracted! That’s because you can daydream or “drift off” while driving, which means that you aren’t actually processing what’s happening in front of and around you. Chatting with passengers and even experiencing “highway hypnosis” are examples of this.
When you get behind the wheel of your vehicle, driving safely should your biggest—and only—priority. It’s easy to take driving for granted, but it’s a complex task that requires hundreds of small adjustments, decisions, and reactions every minute. And even minor distractions can make it harder to perform those tasks, putting you at great risk of a crash.
The Nashville car accident lawyers at Ponce Law know that distracted driving is an epidemic in TN, and we hold those drivers accountable when they cause crashes. Contact us today for a free consultation if you or someone you love was harmed by a negligent driver
January 20th, 2021|
Tennessee’s Move Over Law has been expanded several times since it was first enacted around 15 years ago. Initially, it only applied to emergency vehicles such as police cars, ambulances, and fire trucks. Later, it was revised to include utility vehicles. And most recently, it expanded in scope once again to include ALL stopped vehicles with their flashers on, including passenger vehicles.
If you end up stopped on the side of the road, it’s important to understand the risks you face. Many construction workers and emergency responders are killed every year nationwide when they are hit by vehicles, and the same risk applies to ordinary people who end up on roadsides. To reduce your risks, take these steps:
- Turn on your flashers—Whether it’s a bright sunny afternoon or the middle of the night, turning on your flashers makes you much more visible to approaching drivers, and that alone can reduce your risks.
- Stay in your vehicle—The safest place to be if you have to pull over is inside your vehicle, especially if the shoulder is narrow. Call 911, a tow truck, or highway assistance from your vehicle if needed.
- Never change a flat tire—If you had to pull over due to a flat tire, resist the temptation to change it yourself. Changing a flat tire on the side of the road is extremely dangerous. Instead, call highway assistance or a tow truck.
The Move Over law is supposed to make these tips less needed, but unfortunately, few drivers obey it. However, if they fail to move over and cause a crash, they can be held liable for any damages. Contact the Nashville auto accident lawyers at Ponce Law today if you or someone you love was hurt by a negligent driver on a Tennessee roadway.
March 4th, 2020|
Technology has impacted every aspect of daily life, including vehicles. And while many car buyers are initially most impressed by things like huge touchscreen displays, ambient lighting, and Bluetooth smartphone connectivity, the most important technological advances involve those that reduce their risk of crashes.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently celebrated its 50th anniversary, and since it was founded, auto manufacturers have worked hard to obtain 5-star safety ratings. In recent years, numerous advances have made drivers and passengers safer both on the road and during crashes, including:
- Airbags—Modern vehicles are equipped with multiple airbags that protect occupants from all angles during crashes.
- Electronic stability control (ESC)—Whether it’s due to slick roads or taking a corner too fast, losing control of your vehicle is terrifying. ESC helps drivers remain in control in otherwise dangerous situations.
- Backup cameras—Handy in parking lots, backup cameras were made mandatory in all new vehicles beginning May 1, 2018, due to backover accidents that seriously injure or kill many people, including children, every year.
- Blind spot detection—Mirrors don’t show you everything when you’re preparing to turn or change lanes, and turning your head means taking your eyes off the road. Blind spot detection means you’ll know if someone is in your blind spot without ever turning your head.
- Crash-avoidance systems—Some vehicles are capable of taking over in an instant and avoiding crashes on their own. Distractions are always dangerous but sometimes unavoidable, and these high-tech systems apply automatic braking just before impact.
The Nashville auto accident lawyers at Ponce Law are grateful for the ever-improving safety features in today’s vehicles, but we also know that negligent drivers will always be an issue. If you or someone you love was injured because of a careless driver, we’re here to evaluate your claim. Get in touch with us today for a free consultation.
March 2nd, 2020|
Spring is almost here, and that means warm weather and family trips throughout the country or within the great state of Tennessee. For many families, spring break vacations involve driving to their destinations. And when you have a car loaded down with luggage and passengers, it’s more important than ever to drive as safely as possible.
Before you head out on your spring break trip this year, be sure to keep these tips in mind:
- Take off early rather than later in the day—Planning on starting your vacation early by leaving late afternoon on a Friday? For safety reasons, you’re better off waiting until Saturday morning. In addition to facing less traffic, you’ll also drive during daylight hours, which is a safer time to be on the road.
- Designate a passenger to handle electronic duties—Whether it’s changing radio stations, working your vehicle’s or phone’s navigational system, or answering emails, phone calls, and text messages, having a passenger assigned to those tasks reduces distraction risks for you while driving.
- Ensure everyone stays buckled up—If you have kids, you know that they can become restless and antsy during long car rides. But even adults sometimes feel cramped and want to stretch out. However, safety beats comfort any day, and that means seat belts must remain buckled at all times.
At Ponce Law, our Nashville auto accident attorneys hope everyone has a safe and happy spring this year. If you or someone you know is involved in a crash caused by a negligent driver, whether it’s on your road trip or during your daily commute, we want to help. Contact us today.
July 15th, 2015|
Many factors can play a role in Tennessee car accidents, including the negligent design or maintenance of roadways.
When care is not taken when planning a roadway or conducting regular upkeep, crashes are more likely. Residents and officials in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee, say this may be the reason for an increase in car accidents at a local interchange.
According to WKRN 2 News, there have been nearly 30 collisions along I-40 East near South Mt. Juliet Road and Belinda Parkway. Those crashes resulted in at least eight injuries and a majority of the accidents seem to occur while it’s raining.
This prompted officials at the Tennessee Department of Transportation to launch an investigation lack of proper drainage and what can be done to solve the issue. So far, the agency has determined drains in the area are clear and free of debris that can cause clogs. The team is also working to determine if the slope of the road is correct.
At Ponce Law, we understand the risks a defective roadway can pose to motorists, and our Nashville personal injury lawyers are hopeful any problems discovered on the highway can be resolved before another accident happens.
December 10th, 2014|
Guardrails are designed to protect motorists in the event of a crash, but new research has shown that the design of guardrails used across the country—including here in Nashville—may put drivers at risk of car accident injuries or death.
Studies have shown the ET-Plus End Terminals designed by Texas-based company, Trinity Industries, are several inches shorter than the models submitted for approval. This difference in length prevents the guardrails from properly crumbling when struck by motor vehicles, which can cause them to penetrate vehicles and harm drivers and their passengers.
These failures have led to several wrongful death lawsuits against the company, including one stemming from a Tennessee car accident.
The guardrails in question are in use on roadways around Music City. An article from WSMV News says Metro officials have noted at least 20 of the faulty rails around the city.
As of now, nothing has been done about the problem. Four states have already banned the use of the faulty equipment, but Metro officials say they are waiting on the results of new crash testing before deciding whether or not to replace the guardrails.
The Nashville personal injury lawyers with Ponce Law encourage you to speak to an experienced law firm if you were injured in a crash caused by a guardrail. Our team is ready to help 24/7—just call 615-244-4321.
November 17th, 2014|
If you live in Middle Tennessee, it’s likely you woke up to sleet and or snow this morning. This winter precipitation not only means a season change is upon us again, but also that it’s time to begin preparations for driving in slick or snowy conditions.
- Stay Home– If road conditions are deteriorating, stay off the roads if possible and wait for the weather to clear.
- Do Your Homework– If you must get out in bad weather, know the conditions of the roads and highways you’re planning to travel. In Tennessee, you can use the Tennessee Department of Transportation’s SmartWay maps to find this information.
- Prepare Your Vehicle– Make sure your tires have plenty of tread and your brakes are working properly before driving on snow or ice. Be sure to check that your windshield wipers and lights are working properly as well.
- Prepare Yourself– When traveling in bad weather, it’s wise to prepare for the worst by bringing along cold weather gear and supplies in case of emergency. This can include blankets, flashlights, food, and water.
The Tennessee personal injury attorneys at Ponce Law hope these tips help keep you and your loved ones safe throughout the winter.
September 8th, 2014|
There’s almost an endless list of causes to motor vehicle collisions. One of the most common causes for a Nashville car accident is faulty equipment, with one in six cars and trucks in the city currently under recall.
This figure leaves many local Middle Tennesseans wondering what they can do to ensure their vehicle is safe and is free of faulty equipment. An article from News Channel 5 investigates points out most vehicles under recall do not get repaired because the owner is simply unaware of the problem. But now there are two new ways to stay abreast on the latest vehicle recalls.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has created a new search on their website. Just enter the Vehicle Information Number (VIN) of your vehicle to see if there are any associated recalls.
Carfax has also created a smartphone app that alerts motor vehicle owners to recalls. Just enter your car or truck’s license plate to see if there are any open recalls on your vehicle. The app will also alert users to future recalls on their vehicles.
While technology can be handy to raise awareness of problems with vehicles, accidents can still happen. That’s why it’s important to speak with a Nashville personal injury lawyer if you’ve been injured in an auto accident.
At Ponce Law, our team of attorneys has decades of combined experience helping accident victims get back on their feet, and we want to help you do the same. To learn more about what our legal staff can do for you, give us a call at 615-244-4321 today.
March 26th, 2014|
March 26, 2014
While most motorists do not hesitate to put on their seat belt when they step into a vehicle, many citizens fail to realize the importance of having children properly restrained. This doesn’t mean simply buckling them in. Children should be placed into a child safety or booster seat any time the ride in a vehicle.
This is because seat belts are designed to protect adults. Furthermore, the law states that any child under the age of 8 years or not meeting weight standards is required to be in a safety seat when riding in a vehicle.
The importance of utilizing this lifesaving equipment was made clear to one Middle Tennessee resident after a Nashville Car Accident with his child. Reports indicate the crash happened at around 7 p.m. on Feb. 24 along Highway 231.
An article from WATE 6 News stated the victim was suddenly rear-ended by a pickup truck. The impact caused his 2-year-old son, who was riding in a car seat, to be ejected roughly 60-feet from the vehicle after the seat belt supporting the unit was broken. The child survived though, and his father is saying the car seat saved his life.
December 6th, 2013|
December 6, 2013
With a mix of winter weather expected in Nashville and the rest of Middle Tennessee this evening and throughout the weekend, many citizens are concerned about the dangers of motor vehicle collisions. The Nashville Car Accident Lawyers with Ponce Law explain the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) is working to address these risks by gathering the supplies it needs to keep roads safe.
According to a TDOT Press Release, salt supplies in all counties across the state have been replenished. The material is then combined with a brine mixture that is spread along highways in order to keep snow and ice from accumulating.
TDOT Officials added that they have more than 1,000 employees on-hand to maintain roads during winter weather.
While the stat is doing its part to keep motorists safe, the Nashville Personal Injury Lawyers with Michael D. Ponce & Associates state motorists can also do their part to prevent accidents. One of the best ways to achieve this goal is by being aware of road conditions before attempting to travel in foul weather. TDOT updates social media websites and its own mobile phone application with current road conditions throughout the year.
Other ways motorists can stay safe is by monitoring tread on tires to ensure proper grip on roads and avoiding braking when vehicles begin to slide. Instead, downshift into a lower gear and gently press the accelerator while turning into the spin.