Tennessee took a stand against distracted driving when the state enacted the “hands free” law that took effect in 2019. Ever since then, it has been illegal for drivers to use mobile devices in ways that were deemed too distracting, leading to car accidents all across the state. These accidents cause thousands of deaths and numerous injuries.
This doesn’t mean that you can’t use a phone or another device to communicate while you are in the car. It just means that you cannot hold that device in your hand at any time, because you need to have your eyes on the road and both hands on the wheel.
Five major provisions
Simply saying you can’t hold a device in your hand does describe the intent of the law, but it also has these five distinct provisions. People are not allowed to:
- Hold the phone with any body part
- Read or write text messages
- Reach for the phone when they have to take off a seatbelt to do it
- Watch a movie or a video on the cellphone screen
- Broadcast a video, take pictures or record a video using the phone
One important thing to note is that many drivers believe they can still hold the phone and talk, assuming that they are simply prohibited from texting and driving. However, both of those activities are prohibited and could lead to serious fines.
Unfortunately, distracted drivers are still common, and you may be injured in an accident caused by one. If this happens, you need to know how to seek financial compensation for medical bills and other costs.