October 6th, 2021|
Many people are aware that texting while driving is illegal in Tennessee. This law was passed in 2009 to combat the growing epidemic of distracted driving throughout the state and the nation.
In 2017, the distracted driving ban was extended to the usage of all handheld mobile devices while in school zones to protect children, crossing guards, and parents. And in 2019, handheld mobile devices were banned across the board while operating a motor vehicle, regardless of location.
What does that mean for you? It means you can’t text while driving, but that has been illegal for over a decade already. It also means you can’t hold your cell phone to send text messages, browse the internet, check email, or even make phone calls. You also can’t pick up your phone while driving to change GPS directions or music apps.
To use your phone legally while driving, it must be done via a hands-free system. That means using voice commands on your phone or through your vehicle’s Bluetooth connectivity, or by using a wireless headset. As long as you aren’t touching your phone, you can use it legally while driving.
But it’s important to note that although legal in Tennessee, even hands-free usage can still be distracting. It’s best to avoid using your phone as much as possible while driving, and if you need to make a phone call or send a text message, pull over in a safe location first.
At Ponce Law, we’re always helping people hurt by negligent drivers, including distracted ones. If you were injured by a distracted motorist, our Nashville auto accident lawyers are here to help. Contact us today for a free consultation.
April 21st, 2021|
Today’s vehicles are more powerful than ever. Turbocharged engines are the norm for many auto manufacturers, and horsepower keeps increasing year after year. That means that while it’s easier than ever to merge into highway or interstate traffic, it’s also easier than ever to accidentally (or intentionally) violate the speed limit.
Law enforcement is well aware of this fact, and they’re cracking down on speeding drivers. The Tennessee Highway Safety Office (THSO) launched a safety initiative called “Slow Down Tennessee” to help reduce the number of speeding drivers on the state’s roadways. As part of the initiative, troopers, police, and deputies will be looking for speeding drivers throughout the state.
Crash-related fatalities are up 23% compared to the same time in 2020, and 63 people had lost their lives in auto accidents through March 15, 2021. The director of the THSO says that law enforcement is noticing drivers speeding significantly above posted speed limits. They aren’t just exceeding them by 5 or even 10 mph, but rather they’re traveling up to 90 or even 95 mph in 70 mph zones.
Speeding increases the risk of a crash because it increases the length of time it takes to slow down or stop. It also makes it more likely that you’ll lose control of your vehicle, especially if you need to swerve or you make any sudden movements. And finally, speeding worsens the impact of crashes when they do happen, resulting in more serious injuries for drivers and their passengers.
February 5th, 2020|
Whether you’re a newly licensed driver or you’ve been traversing our roadways for years, it’s important to know Tennessee driving laws to reduce your risks of being involved in a crash and getting an expensive citation. Here are five traffic laws you may or may not be aware of that are enforced daily by police officers and state troopers throughout the Volunteer State:
- Texting While Driving Law—Texting while driving a vehicle in Tennessee is illegal for all drivers, regardless of age, experience level, or license type. If you need to text, pull over to a safe location first!
- Move Over Law—Whether it’s an emergency vehicle, a utility vehicle, or just an ordinary passenger vehicle, you’re required to move over from the closest lane to it if its lights are flashing.
- Seat Belt Law—If you’re behind the wheel of a vehicle in Tennessee, you’re required by law to buckle up. You’re also in charge of ensuring your passengers are buckled up, whether they’re family members, friends, or strangers.
- Speeding in Construction Zones Law—Tennessee is always working hard to improve its roadways, and that means construction zones. Because workers do their jobs so close to traffic, speed limits are often significantly reduced—and exceeding them means big fines.
- Tennessee DUI Law—If you drive with a blood alcohol content at or exceeding 0.08%, you’re considered over the legal limit. That means you can be arrested and charged with driving under the influence (DUI)—a serious misdemeanor that results in expensive fines, jail time, and lost driving privileges.
Those are just a few of the important Tennessee driving laws you need to know. And if you’re ever injured in a crash caused by a driver who violated traffic laws, the Nashville auto accident attorneys at Ponce Law want to help. Contact us today.
January 29th, 2020|
The Super Bowl is almost here, and with it comes parties and alcohol consumption. While our hometown team came up just short of an appearance in the big game, we know that many people in and around Nashville will celebrate this occasion with friends, family members, and coworkers. If you’re planning on attending a Super Bowl party, follow these tips to stay safe:
- Never drink and drive—Remember that the legal BAC level for intoxication is 0.08%. For many people, that’s two drinks. For some, it’s only one! In addition, buzzed driving IS drunk driving, as even small amounts of alcohol affect reaction times, judgment, and decision-making.
- Don’t let others drink and drive—Ensure that your fellow guests have safe ways of getting home if they’re drinking alcohol. If anyone is intoxicated, take their keys and call a cab or schedule a rideshare service to pick them up.
- Drive defensively—Even if you’re sober, other drivers on the road might not be. Driving at any time on Super Bowl Sunday can be dangerous, so be extra careful on Nashville’s roads by avoiding distractions, watching your speed, and following all traffic laws to the T.
At Ponce Law, we hope everyone enjoys the game and has a great time with their fellow party guests. And if an accident occurs, we’re always here to help. Contact us anytime for a free consultation with our Nashville auto accident lawyers. We have many years of experience helping injured victims, and we know what it takes to win.
January 20th, 2020|
Whenever you rent a car, you’re required to sign documents that protect the rental car company from liability in the event of a crash. That doesn’t mean you have no option to get compensation after a car accident involving a rental car, but it does make the process more complicated. That’s because there are multiple potential sources of insurance coverage after a crash involving a rental car, and more than one type of coverage may apply for the same crash.
The main sources of potential compensation in a rental car accident include:
- Your personal auto insurance
- The other party’s auto insurance
- Insurance provided by the renter’s credit card company
- Insurance purchased from the rental company
The fact that there are so many layers of coverage and liability when it comes to rental cars makes accidents involving these types of vehicles exceedingly complex. For example, one type of coverage may provide compensation for property damage, but not for injuries, requiring victims to deal with multiple insurance companies to get the money they need. Ultimately, that often leads to innocent victims getting the runaround and even giving up before being paid any compensation for their medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
If you’re ever involved in a crash involving a rental car, whether you were driving one, riding in one as a passenger, or struck by someone else driving a rental car, it’s important to have an experienced Nashville auto accident attorney on your side.
At Ponce Law, we know the laws, contracts, and insurance policies concerning rental cars, and we know how to build effective claims to get victims fair settlements after they’re hurt in crashes involving rental vehicles. Contact us today for a free consultation to find out how we can assist you.
December 16th, 2015|
Tennessee has been working to reduce drunk driving accidents for years by utilizing educational campaigns. After the last program came under heavy public scrutiny, state officials have announced funding has been secured to launch a new anti-DUI initiative.
An article from The Tennessean explains the state awarded an $11.5 million contract to an Austin-based marketing firm to create the new campaign. Documents show plans to not only focus on preventing drunk driving, but also other hazards of the road, such as motorcycle safety and seatbelt usage.
Work on the new project has already begun, with the fresh contract launching on Dec. 9. The campaign will end in Dec. 2020.
The new campaign comes on the heels of heavy backlash aimed at the state’s previous anti-DUI campaign after many of the program’s messages were deemed sexist and inappropriate. Officials stated the campaign was to be aimed at a young, male demographic, but also cited poor oversight as the reason the messages were released.
At Ponce Law, we understand the important role education plays in preventing drunk driving. That’s why our Nashville car accident lawyers are hopeful the new campaign will be successful in getting motorists to think twice before getting behind the wheel after drinking.
November 4th, 2015|
The manufacturers of auto parts are responsible for ensuring the safety of the products they put on the market. That’s why one Knoxville, Tennessee, company is coming under fire for making a distributing faulty vehicle airbags that are responsible for a number of injuries.
The defective product lawyers at Ponce Law explain investigators are currently looking into claims that airbags made by ARC Automotive, Inc. can explode when activated, causing metal parts and debris to be hurled towards occupants.
WBIR 10 News provides details about two separate car accidents where the faulty airbags were responsible for injuring motorists during crashes. The report explains one of those victims suffered lacerations to the head and chest, a severed vocal cord, a broken jaw, and a collapsed lung. She was placed into a medically-induced coma following the accident, resulting in huge medical bills.
The victim filed a lawsuit against ARC Automotive, claiming they were responsible for here injuries. Both parties reached a settlement in the matter for an undisclosed amount in damages.
As many as 500,000 vehicles could be affected by the faulty parts. However, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is continuing to work towards determining the full scope of the problem.
Protecting the safety of all motorists on the road is a top priority for each member of Ponce Law, which is why our Nashville car accident attorneys are hopeful action will soon be taken to correct the problems with vehicles equipped with these airbags.
October 30th, 2015|
Halloween is often filled with excitement for both adults and children as we put on our spookiest outfits and make our way door-to-door in search of candy. Still, it’s important to remember that the chances of being involved in a motor vehicle accident increase on this particular holiday.
Studies have shown car accident totals on Halloween are dramatically higher than most other days of the year. Dr. Purnima Unni from Monroe Carrell, Jr. Children’s Hospital in Nashville tells WKRN News 2 that children are around four times more likely to be struck by a vehicle on October 31.
- See and be seen– It’s crucial that children’s costumes fit properly to avoid tripping hazards. Masks, hats, and make-up should not impede vision as well. To help make you more visible to motorists, carry a flashlight or other light source. You can also consider incorporating reflective or glow-in-the-dark materials in your costume.
- Obey traffic laws– Trick-or-Treaters should remember to use sidewalks where they’re available, and always cross the street at crosswalks. Motorists should adhere to all traffic laws, including those against speeding and driving while distracted.
- If driving, stay sober– Driving under the influence is a leading cause of motor vehicle collisions on Halloween. You can do your part to avoid drunk driving accidents on Halloween by finding a safe and sober way to get home, such as a cab, Uber, Lyft, or loved one.
We hope these tips help you to have a safe and happy Halloween!
October 21st, 2015|
Motor vehicle collisions are the leading cause of accidental death among teens in the United States between ages 15-19. Last year in Tennessee, there were more than 100 fatal accidents involving teen drivers. These numbers are why the Nashville car accident lawyers at Ponce Law are excited to hear this week has been named “Teen Driver Safety Week”.
The program is sponsored through a partnership between the Tennessee Governor’s Highway Safety Office and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The goal of “Teen Driver Safety Week” is to raise young motorists’ awareness about the dangers of the road and what they can do to stay safe when driving, as well as encouraging parents to get involved in their children’s driving education.
According to WBIR News, one of the best ways parents can teach their kids about safe driving is by simply talking to them about it. Some experts even suggest creating a driving contract with teenagers that outlines the expectations for safely operating a vehicle. These rules may include no speeding, restrictions on cellphone use while driving, and placing limits on the number of passengers in a vehicle.
Ponce Law believes taking these steps to promote safe driving among teens can help prevent accidents, and we applaud the efforts being made to promote safe teen driving. We also recognize that not all crashes can be avoided though, and we encourage motorists of all ages to be aware of what steps you should take after an auto accident.
October 16th, 2015|
Statistics indicate that teens are involved in a disproportionate number of crashes in Tennessee. Data from the Governor’s Highway Safety Office shows that in 2010, 509 adolescent drivers were seriously injured in motor vehicle collisions.
To help reduce this number, the Nashville car accident lawyers at Ponce Law explain the Montgomery County Driver Safety Program recently conducted a new campaign aimed at raising vehicle safety awareness among teens called ThinkFast Interactive. The program was conducted at Montgomery Central High School.
Officials explain the program utilizes an interactive game to provide teens with information about the risks that certain behaviors—such as drinking and driving or distractions—can pose behind the wheel. Driver Safety Administrator, Lisa McClain, explains to Clarksville Now that the program keeps students’ attention by allowing them to have fun while learning.
Montgomery Central was the third school in the region to participate in the program, but officials hope the recent successes the initiative has reported will allow ThinkFast Interactive to be brought to more schools within the next year.
Helping to protect the lives of all Tennessee motorists is a goal our legal staff at Ponce Law shares with one another. Our Nashville personal injury lawyers hope to see more use of the ThinkFast Interactive program, along with a continuing decline in teen accident numbers in the future.