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Campbell County personal injury attorney motorcycle accident

In Tennessee, motorcycle crashes rank Campbell County close to the upper half relative to other counties in terms of high frequency. In addition, the state of Tennessee alone has seen spikes in motorcycle accidents and related personal injuries over the last few decades. Many people are aware of the risks involved with riding motorcycles, but there are some important safety laws and other tips that you might want to consider before hopping on that bike this spring.

How to Stay Safe on Your Motorcycle This Spring in Tennessee

With the pandemic figures getting better and improved weather conditions on the way, you might be tempted to ride your motorcycle more. This is a great choice, but you need to be a defensive motorcyclist and stay safe out there by doing the following things in order to avoid major accidents:

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Campbell County criminal defense attorney DUI

As you may already know, in Tennessee, DUI is so serious that being convicted of it, even for the first time, can result in severe consequences, including jail time, fines, and revocation of your license. Indeed, not even a first-time DUI is considered a small offense in Tennessee. What is more, if you are pulled over for reasons other than drunk-driving and the officer discovers that you are also drunk, you could be faced with compounded charges in which you must defend against more than one offense. This is why probable cause can make or break a DUI case, and really, any criminal defense case for that matter.

What Is Probable Cause to Pull You Over in Tennessee?

Over the years, “probable cause” has become more loosely interpreted in the higher courts, both at the national and state levels. For instance, in Tennessee, pulling someone over even for the slightest presumption of guilt for breaking minor traffic laws is enough probable cause. After that, the police might perceive other things about your person or your property that leads them to suspect other more serious offenses. Like dominoes, the charges could pile up, and you might find yourself dealing with multiple charges, some of which could result from searches of your car or your property that you might have given consent for without even knowing it. 

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Campbell County criminal defense attorney traffic violation

Traffic laws are meant to keep everyone on the road safe, whether it is a vehicle driver, pedestrian, motorcyclist, or bicyclist. Recent Tennessee legislation enacted the STOP Act, which dictates how drivers should respond to school buses. Familiarize yourself with this newer law to avoid stringent charges. If you are accused of any traffic violation, you should immediately consult with a traffic violation attorney and prepare a thorough and rigorous defense. 

The STOP Act

According to Tennessee law, drivers must never pass a school bus that has stopped to unload children, regardless of the direction in which they are traveling. Once a school bus begins moving again, nearby drivers may also do so. Bus drivers may also signal drivers that they may proceed, and if they turn off the bus’s visual signals, drivers may pass. School buses have a stop sign on the side of their vehicle that extends out while their lights flash, so it is easy to recognize when a bus driver is stopping to unload children.

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Campbell County traffic violations defense attorney

The staggering amount of car accidents caused by distracted driving in Tennessee pushed lawmakers to institute a new law on July 1, 2019 that bans any kind of cell phone use while driving. Understanding this new law can help you avoid a costly ticket in addition to a serious crash. In some cases, the penalties for using your phone behind the wheel can carry costly fines and the loss of driving privileges. Regardless of the charges, it is critical that you present an aggressive defense to the court with the guidance of an experienced traffic violations attorney.

Distracted Driving Statistics in Tennessee

For the three years leading up to 2019, distracted driving by Tennessee motorists caused more than 24,000 crashes annually. Tennessee also had the highest fatality rate of any state for distracted driving in that time period. The national average was 1.49 fatalities per 10 billion vehicle miles, while Tennessee’s rate reached 7.2 deaths for that same mileage.

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Campbell County car accident attorney speeding

Drivers who operate their vehicles at a high rate of speed have less control of their automobiles than those who obey the traffic rules. In Tennessee, speeding can come with heavy fines depending on how far over the posted speed limit a driver is traveling. Unfortunately, a ticket will be the least of a driver’s worries if the violation causes a collision with another car, a motorcycle, or a pedestrian. In those cases, the offending driver will be responsible for the injuries and damage that was done as a result of the incident.

What Are the Tennessee Speeding Laws?

The state of Tennessee requires all drivers to maintain a safe speed on the road. This speed could vary depending on the conditions of the day and also in what county a motorist is traveling. Tennessee does have absolute speed limits for certain types of roadways:

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Campbell County traffic violations defense attorney

According to a recent survey done by TicketSchool.com, more than 50 percent of the driving community admits to not using a turn signal when changing lanes or making turns. Some of the reasons motorists gave for this were because they did not think they had enough time or simply because they did not want to use their signals. This is dangerous driving behavior, which can lead to collisions that result in serious injuries or even wrongful death. Drivers can also be pulled over and issued a traffic citation if a police officer sees the motorist failing to signal. The act can also be considered reckless driving -- which is a Class B misdemeanor in Tennessee -- because not signaling in which direction you are driving puts other motorists on the road in danger.

Why Is it Important to Use a Turn Signal?

Drivers cannot read each other’s minds on the road, and therefore, no one knows when someone is planning to change lanes or make a turn. That is why it is required by Tennessee law to use a signal before making a turn or decreasing speed suddenly. Not only is this a requirement under the traffic laws, but it is a common courtesy on the road. Using a turn signal can prevent:

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Campbell County auto accident injury attorney

During the winter months when the sun sets sooner and rises later, it is important for people to drive with their vehicles' headlights illuminated. Headlights are the most important equipment while driving in low-light conditions or darkness, because they allow the driver to see the roadway ahead. If a driver cannot see, he or she will be unprepared for obstacles in the road, in addition to other vehicles or pedestrians who are crossing the road. Not using headlights can lead to motor vehicle collisions and injuries that can range from minor to serious.

Tennessee’s Requirements for Using Headlights

According to Tennessee law, drivers must use their headlights starting a half-hour after sunset until a half-hour before sunrise. Lights must be visible from at least 200 feet away so that drivers have plenty of time to see each other on the road before getting too close.

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