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How do Tennessee drivers know if there is an accident on their route?

Listening to traffic reports, checking the SmartWay system and watching for signs of a wreck may help drivers anticipate and avoid crashes on their routes.

Auto accidents are all too common on the streets and highways across the state of Tennessee. In fact, the state's Department of Safety and Homeland Security reports there were 197,111 motor vehicle collisions in 2015 alone, many of which caused serious injuries or death for the people involved. Sometimes, crashes occur because drivers become distracted by a previous wreck or are unprepared to adjust to the resulting changes in driving conditions. In order to help avoid being involved in such a collision, it may benefit motorists to check their routes before hitting the road.

Listen to radio and news reports

News and radio reports can be valuable source of information for drivers. They often provide details regarding how traffic is flowing and motor vehicle accidents. If people hear that there is an issue on their route before leaving or getting too close, they may be able to adjust their path to help avoid traffic problems and the potential for being involved in a secondary crash.

Check the SmartWay system

In an effort to help motorists be as prepared as possible, the Tennessee Department of Transportation has developed the SmartWay system. The state's roads are monitored through four transportation management centers, 1,015 roadway detection systems and 49 video detection systems. Drivers can check the system before heading out for traffic information, as well as details regarding construction activities and highway accidents. Motorists should also pay attention to the message signs for updates while they are on the road.

Watch for signs

Even if they have listened to the traffic reports and checked the SmartWay system, people may still happen upon motor vehicle accidents that just occurred or have not been reported. Focusing on the road and watching for signs of a collision ahead may help drivers avoid getting into secondary wrecks. This may include watching for unexplained brake or hazard lights, vehicles pulled off to the side of the road, or traffic suddenly stopping or slowing.

Working with a lawyer

When collisions occur due to prior accidents, Tennessee drivers or their passengers may suffer serious injuries. Consequently, they may require time off of work to recover, which may lead to lost wages, and medical treatment, which may carry significant costs. Depending on the circumstances, however, the motorists who cause such crashes may be held liable for the resulting damages. Thus, it may be helpful for those who have experienced this type of situation to discuss their case with a lawyer. A legal representative may help them understand their rights and options for seeking financial compensation.

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