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Child's Death May Show Distracted Driving Issue

Posted at 6:04 PM, Jun 09, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-09 19:34:23-04

Distracted driving has been an epidemic in the state, and Lieutenant Bill Miller with the Tennessee Highway Patrol said drivers need to be more aware of it.

"It can happen to any one of us at any given time of the day," he said.

It has been happening so often, Lt. Miller said it's becoming almost as large of a problem as driving under the influence.

That's why its so very important to drop bad driving habits.

"If you're looking at your radio station, try to keep your eyes on the road," he said. "Distracted driving comes in many forms whether it be an electronic device, a cell phone, a laptop, or texting."

Lt. Miller said needing to stay connected even behind the wheel has been the biggest culprit of them all. 

"It takes just a few seconds to ruin your life or everyone else's life, so we just ask that you leave the phone alone," he said.

Year to date, 421 people have been killed on Tennessee roadways. That's a significant increase Lt. Miller said compared to last year when it was 365 at this same time.

"That's not a stat," he said. "Those are people that have been killed. Those are families that have had their hearts ripped out of their chest, and their home will never be the same. A lot of that is contributed to distracted driving."

Lt. Miller said if every driver does their part, they could avoid this conversation.  

"Keep your eyes truly focused on the roadway because traffic can stop in the blink of an eye, and if you're not fully paying attention to the surroundings of your vehicle you're going to be involved in a crash," he said.

The conversation on distracted driving came up after it was possibly the cause of a crash that killed a 7-year-old on Old Hickory Boulevard. Read that story by clicking here.