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Two recent accidents in Nashville remind us of the importance of driver safety. In the first accident, William McGuire, 23, was killed when riding as a passenger in a vehicle driven by a friend. The driver, Samantha Johnson, was driving eastbound on Harding Place in heavy rain when her vehicle hydroplaned. She lost control of the vehicle and struck a pole. McGuire was pronounced dead. The police noted that the tires on the vehicle were extremely worn. No word on whether the road was flooded, or whether the sole reason for the vehicle hydroplaning was the condition of the tires.

In another accident, a mid-teen passenger was killed when her vehicle struck a tractor. The 18-year-old driver reported that she was cut off by another vehicle, causing her to swerve off the road and strike the mower. Amazingly, the operator of the mower was not injured. There’s no report as to whether the deceased passenger was wearing her seatbelt.

Let this be a reminder to all those on the road:

1) Always, always, always wear your seatbelt.

2) Make sure your tires are in good condition! Tires are one of the single most vital parts of your vehicle. Don’t forget the “penny” test to determine if your tires need to be replaced. And not all tires are created equal, some are more safe than others. Check out Tire Rack for tire reviews, or talk to a trusted technician to find out what tire is best for your environment.

3) Be aware of your surroundings! Based solely off the second accident’s report, if the teenage driver was aware of a mower on the side of the road, maybe she would have braked rather than swerved.

Also, a common problem in accident litigation is the difficulty of reconstructing an accident when the vehicles are destroyed. It’s important that if your vehicle is involved in an accident, and is “totaled,” that you seek representation immediately. If necessary, the attorney should have the vehicle preserved for as long as necessary to create an accurate recount of the events leading up to the accident. Sometimes, vehicles are destroyed before such due diligence is performed.

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