By now, we all know that distracted driving is dangerous. It accounts for about a quarter of all vehicle crashes each year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that about 9 people die every day because of distracted driving. People who text and drive, Snap and drive, or do anything else that distracts them from driving, often think that they can hide their fault by simply deleting their text messages.
Not so fast.
Rocky McElhaney is a trusted authority in Tennessee when it comes to distracted driving, and helping victims seek justice when they are hurt. That is why he was asked to sit down with WKRN News Channel 2 on Thursday to discuss how he, and the rest of our personal injury lawyers, can prove that another driver was texting when he or she hit you.
“Even if they delete their messages… they’re not deleting the data”
A few years ago, there was a horrific accident on Highway 109, where a tractor-trailer slammed into a car. Inside the car were four high school students coming home from a bowling match. Two of those children died, and the other two sustained critical injuries. Even though the truck driver wasn’t charged with anything at the time, Rocky knew that the truck driver was distracted when he hit that car.
He knew that because records provided by the phone company showed that the driver was using his phone at the time of the collision, even though that was against company policy.
“There are forensic, analytical companies that can take the phone and download even deleted messages,” Rocky explained. “There would be a digital footprint” if someone was texting, talking, or otherwise using the phone at the time of the wreck.
This information about the driver’s cell phone use would be matched to the back box information from the vehicles themselves. Black boxes are data recorders – all semi-trucks have to have them, and most passenger vehicles do, too – that tell you the precise time the brakes were hit, and how fast the vehicles were moving when they collided (among other useful information). From here, injury lawyers can build a trail of evidence that shows that a driver was not responding on the road in a way that he or she should have.
It’s not only other drivers you need to be aware of
It’s easy to blame “other drivers” for accidents – but sometimes, it’s the person right next to you. In another example, Rocky told WKRN about a woman who seriously injured passengers in her car because she was using FaceTime while driving.
While phones are the most common culprits, distracted driving can take many forms. People doing their makeup behind the wheel, eating and fumbling for napkins, or turning around to look at the people behind them – all of this is dangerous. And while Tennessee has some strict and specific laws on the books to curb distracted driving, they’re not working. Rocky’s powerful warning to Tennesseans is this: “If you use your phone, sooner or later you are going to have a wreck. Then the question is, do you kill someone else or do you kill yourself?” The attorneys at Rocky McElhaney Law Firm know how to get the evidence that will prove a distracted driver is at fault. That might be the only thing left in the state’s arsenal to help reduce distracted driving.
If you have been injured, or a loved one has been killed by a distracted driver, Rocky McElhaney Law Firm has the resources to easily recover those records and prove that he or she was using a cell phone. We hold negligent drivers accountable for their actions. We square off with their insurance companies to make sure you’re properly compensated for your losses. We don’t back down because the opponent is big, or the fight is tough.
To learn more about our services, please call 615-246-5549 or fill out this contact form, and schedule your free consultation with us today. With offices in Nashville, Hendersonville and Knoxville, we’re always nearby when you need us. We promise to keep fighting for car accident victims throughout Tennessee. We fight for you.
Nashville personal injury attorney Rocky McElhaney represents people who have been injured in car, truck and other automobile accidents as well as many other forms of negligence throughout the state of Tennessee.