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7 Most Common Causes of Car Accidents in Memphis, TN

causes of car accidents

The numbers don’t lie – Memphis consistently ranks among the most dangerous cities for car accidents in the nation. In fact, two of the city’s major arteries, I-240 and I-40, are considered among the deadliest interstate stretches. Local drivers have to remain constantly vigilant to avoid joining those grim statistics.

While no one gets behind the wheel expecting to crash, far too many Memphis car accidents stem from careless decisions and failure to adjust to the area’s driving conditions. To stay safe, it’s critical for both residents and visitors to understand the 7 most common causes of car accidents on Memphis streets.

1. Distracted Driving Behaviors Behind the Wheel

In today’s hyper-connected world, it’s tempting to keep one eye on the road and the other on our smartphones. But this dangerous habit of distracted driving is a leading culprit behind countless accidents.

Whether texting, checking social media, or fiddling with the radio, any diversion that takes your eyes and mind off the task of driving can have disastrous results.

In fact, according to the Tennessee Department of Safety & Homeland Security, 1 out of every 15 crashes in our state was caused by a distracted driver. And let’s not forget Tennessee’s hands-free law, which prohibits holding a cell phone while driving – a clear indication of how serious this issue has become.

2. Speeding and Reckless Driving On Memphis Roads

Have you ever found yourself in a hurry, only to end up speeding down crowded city streets or weaving recklessly through traffic? We’ve all been there, but these split-second decisions can have severe consequences. Speeding and aggressive driving behaviors like tailgating or failing to yield are among the top causes of car accidents in Memphis.

In fact, studies report that speed is a factor in nearly one in three crashes. And let’s not forget the dangers of illegal street racing – a reckless thrill that has claimed far too many lives.

3. Driving Under the Influence (DUI)

Drunk driving is a scourge on our roads, and the statistics in Memphis are truly sobering. According to the Department of Transportation, alcohol-related crashes account for a staggering 28% of all traffic fatalities. And that’s not even counting the countless injuries and property damage caused by impaired drivers.

But alcohol isn’t the only substance that can impair your ability to drive safely. Prescription drugs, illegal narcotics, and even over-the-counter medications can all slow your reaction time and cloud your judgment behind the wheel. It’s a deadly combination that puts every single person on the road at risk.

4. Poor Weather Conditions

Memphis is no stranger to sudden downpours, thick fog, or even the occasional snowstorm – all of which can wreak havoc on road conditions. Reduced traction, limited visibility, and slick surfaces are a recipe for disaster, especially at hazardous intersections like Poplar Avenue and Highland Street.

5. Road Hazards and Defects

Potholes, debris, inadequate signage, or lighting – these seemingly minor road hazards can quickly turn into major accidents if drivers aren’t paying close attention. And let’s not forget the added dangers of construction zones and detours, which can confuse even the most seasoned Memphis drivers.

Just think of problem areas like the I-40 bridge over the Mississippi River or the perpetual construction on Union Avenue. These are prime examples of how road defects and unclear traffic patterns can contribute to accidents if we’re not vigilant.

6. Young/Inexperienced Drivers

Young, inexperienced drivers are at a higher risk of being involved in car accidents. According to the statistics, drivers aged 16-17 are nearly three times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than those over 20.

This sobering statistic highlights the importance of comprehensive driver’s education programs and the need for young drivers to exercise extra caution and responsibility on our roads.

7. Failure to Obey Traffic Laws

From running red lights and blowing through stop signs to neglecting to use turn signals, disobeying traffic laws is a surefire way to increase the chances of an accident. And despite efforts by law enforcement – like the installation of red light cameras at key intersections – this dangerous behavior persists in Memphis.

It’s a stark reminder that we all have a shared responsibility to follow the rules of the road, not just for our own safety but for the well-being of every driver, passenger, and pedestrian around us.

Injured in a Memphis Accident? Our Team Fights for You

At the end of the day, reducing the staggering number of car accidents in Memphis is a shared responsibility that falls on all of our shoulders. From drivers exercising caution and obeying traffic laws to city planners addressing road hazards and improving infrastructure, every action we take can contribute to making our streets safer.

The consequences of car accidents are simply too grave to ignore – from the physical and emotional trauma of injuries to the staggering financial costs and potential legal troubles that can follow. That’s why we at Pickford Law are committed to raising awareness about this issue and advocating for safer driving practices throughout our beloved city.

If you or a loved one has been impacted by a car accident in Memphis, know that you don’t have to navigate the complex legal landscape alone. Our team of experienced personal injury lawyers is here to fight for the justice and compensation you deserve while working tirelessly to promote safer roads for all.

Don’t hesitate to contact Pickford Law today to schedule a consultation and take the first step towards reclaiming your life after a devastating accident. Together, we can make Memphis streets a safer place for everyone.

Author Bio

Shalondra Grandberry Pickford

Shalondra Grandberry Pickford is a highly skilled attorney and the founder of Pickford Law. Her legal practice is committed to representing clients on various legal matters, including social security disability, veterans’ disability, estate planning, and personal injury. With over ten years of experience in law and a license to practice in Tennessee and Arkansas, Shalondra is committed to providing personalized and effective legal representation to each client.

Shalondra received her Juris Doctorate from The University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law and is a member of the Tennessee and Arkansas State Bar Associations. She has received numerous accolades for her work, including the exclusive Rising Stars award from Super Lawyers in 2017 and again in 2022.

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