They say distracted driving is on the rise, and it doesn’t always involve cellphones or texting. Even playing with the radio can serve as a big and potentially dangerous distraction. A recent car accident on U.S. Highway 411 in Tennessee illustrates that point.

The two-vehicle crash happened near Big Z Lane on Friday afternoon when a 21-year-old man driving a 1976 Chevrolet Nova was headed north on the highway. A Tennessee Highway Patrol trooper says that the man, who is from Maryville, was looking down and playing with the radio when he inadvertently crossed over into a passing lane, a center turn lane and then into a southbound passing lane.

According to the Daily Times, the man’s passenger alerted him to the fact that he was driving into oncoming traffic. He apparently swerved back into his lane when his vehicle was struck by a vehicle driven by a 48-year-old man of Madisonville. His Mercury Milan apparently struck the Chevrolet’s driver-side rear.

A passenger in the Milan was reportedly injured, although the extent of her injuries was not known. She was taken by ambulance to Blount Memorial for treatment. The trooper says that the driver of the Chevrolet will likely be cited for his role in the accident.

It’s perhaps not uncommon for a driver not paying attention to swerve a bit on the road. It’s something altogether different when a driver is so distracted that he veers across more than one lane of traffic. It can put lives at risk.

Source: The Daily Times, “Woman injured in two-vehicle accident on 411,” April 8, 2012