Uber Driver James Henneberg – Driving Distracted?

Nashville Uber Driver James Henneberg often posts “live” video streams to his social media.. and while this is a grey area of the law if the phone is in a cradle and being operated hands-free – once the phone is in your hand and you are using functions on the screen and reading the screen and interacting with viewers, it is almost always as situation that law enforcement would consider “distracted driving”.. in fact, very recently some agencies, such as the THP have started to use the distracted driving law over the “no texting” law, because it requires no other proof other than your focus was off the roadway for any moment that you were operating a vehicle.

Mr. Henneberg has many videos on his Facebook Account (all public at time of publication) this particular video, was recorded on 12/17/2016, at 11:08 PM, on I-24E toward Nashville. In this video, our opinion is that driving was certainly distracted, but you can view for yourself. Are these the types of drivers you want picking you up when you request an Uber around town? I much prefer a driver that has both hands on the wheel, and is always focused on safety.

In the video below, James Henneberg is ever heard acknowledging that his actions are not safe, yet continuing to broadcast live while apparently distracted from driving. He even uses a radar app on his phone, and rages at another driver, all while going at interstate speeds and broadcasting live on Facebook.

Here are some of the highlights of the video that show what we would consider distracted driving:

00:05 Confirms in Nashville driving for Uber, phone properly hands-free in cradle.

03:25 “I want to do the camera on it (the storm) but I am driving & don’t want to be unsafe like that”

03:50 Takes camera off hands-free mount anyways, begins to hold in hand.

By the 5:00 minute mark, he is fully holding the camera in one hand, and driving with the other, and talks about how bad the wind is and how the road is hard to manage, as he is doing between 60-70mph on the visible gauges.

He continues to confirm he is reading the phone screen while driving in dangers conditions at high speeds, by reading things in the chat on the screen, such as notices that people are now viewing his live feed, and responds to them in real-time

Just before the 6 minute mark he notes how hard it is now raining, and turns on the wipers, while still driving 60mph, holding the phone in one hand, viewing comments on the screen while also watching the road.

09:00 He comments on how bad the rain is, while holding a very shaky camera in one hand while driving, and also notes that while driving, and live-streaming video, he is also viewing a live-radar app on his phone to view the storm

11:00 He finally admits on camera “I really don’t want to push my luck doing this too long”.. and states that his windows are fogging up, also limiting his visibility, all while still driving on the interstate, and holding the camera that is live-streaming video in his hand, as he pans to the other windows.

12:03 a horn honk is heard, presumably from his vehicle as he states something that is mostly inaudible but directed at another vehicle, as he says “there’s a sign back there that says to not do that”

12:14 …”but it’s a chick driver… stupid people”

After 12.5 minutes, he finally ends the broadcast.

Safe Driver? Unsafe Driver? Only you can decide if he was distracted. Luckily it was captured on video, so it’s a decision that should be easy to make. I can safely say if he was my Uber driver I would certainly request a new one.

9 Comments

  1. James Henneberg

    So now you get to tell people how I’m supposed to drive there a whole lot more worse distracting things and holding a phone in your hand while you’re looking at the road. Unless you want a lawsuit I suggest you take this down.

    Reply
    1. Evan Crenshaw (Post author)

      If you’d like to serve any legal notices, our information is at http://eastnashville.news/butthurt/ otherwise, have a great day and thanks for reading.

      Reply
      1. James Henneberg

        Well for your information. This is not a good example. This is the one and only time I’ve ever picked up my phone while I was doing any kind of video feed. And I really don’t appreciate how you portray me in this like I’m some sort of awful driver. I drive 10 times better than 90% of the people on the road I see every single day. I yield the people I allow other people to yield I merge I allow other people’s to merge Kama I use my turn signals every single time I change Elaine and I do it properly. I don’t drive with my high beams on I don’t drive around with high beams on because I’m a jerk with aloe being burned out and can’t get a new light bulb. I let people go across the crosswalks when they have the right of way. I do absolutely everything I possibly can to make sure I’m being a good respectful driver. I make one mistake with one video and I feel like you’re doing some sort of a freaking Witch Hunt on me. That is not cool. Who Do You Think You Are? And why you think so damn hateful?

        Reply
  2. James Henneberg

    Not only that but I was the only person in the vehicle during that video. That is me personally by myself nobody else around me and if you notice I’m paying attention to the road while I’m doing it. I don’t mess with the phone nor have I ever while I have somebody in my vehicle other than myself.

    Reply
  3. James Henneberg

    I wasn’t “raging ” at another driver. There is a sign on the 4th Ave exit to I40 West that CLEARLY says, “no access to I65 south”. Meaning, the distance between the 4th Ave exit and the left lanes of I40 West which allow people to exit to I 65 south is TOO SHORT of a distance for safe lane changes. This lady came speeding up the ramp, cut me off with NO turn signals,failed to yield to me in the lane I had the right of way in, and proceeded to go to the I 65 south lanes. Illegal driving on 3 accounts

    Reply
  4. James Henneberg

    Ok, I’ve been thinking about this. 1st, this is the only time I’ve ever grabbed the phone off of the dash mount to point it at the temp gauge on the dash. I apologize to anyone offended. I will not do that again, EVER! I had nobody in the vehicle, and there was almost NO traffic even close to me. (except that lady who committed 3 violations)
    I’m going to point out the “average daily things” I see and get from other drivers EVERY SINGLE DAY while driving in Nashville.
    -People not using their turn signals to change lanes or actually turn
    -People who do use their blinker, but turn it on AS they’re changing lanes (2-3 blinks should always occur before you change lanes)
    -People who think because they have their blinkers on that they have the “right of way” to force a lane. (when you turn on your blinkers you’re requesting permission to merge into that lane.)
    -People driving with their high beams on everywhere. (Day or night this is distracting and illegal. When you get within 200 yards of another driver whether they’re on your side or opposing you, you should DIM your lights to LOW)
    -People driving with their high beams on because they either have a low beam burnt out, or have not done proper maintenance on their vehicles and the headlight lenses are fogged from wear & tear & they think “oh, nobody will notice.” And people who drive with their high beams on with “old school” 4 bulb square headlights that think “nobody will notice” because those are older style lights and dimmer because of the older style. This INCLUDES most of Nashville’s city buses which I’ve noticed lately ALWAYS have all 4 headlight bulbs on, which is their high beams. Again,… illegal. And Metro Police who have a low beam burnt out and drive with heir high beams on. I’ve even called out one who had good low beams & was driving with his highs on. I told him & his response was “I know” and he kept them on high.
    -People who fail to turn on their lights at night
    -People who fail to turn on at LEAST their parking lights when it’s raining, inclement weather, or overcast skies. The rule is in most states, if your wipers are on your lights should be on too.
    -People digging through their purse while driving
    -People putting on makeup while driving
    -People excessively texting or reading stuff on their phones while driving. (By the way, my “real time response to people on my live video recording wasn’t quite so real time as you think. I occasionally glanced at the phone, the same as occasionally glancing at your speedometer or a mirror. I’m ALWAYS cautious of my surroundings. I believe more people should drive more defensively than offensively)
    -People who think driving with those white lower bumper fog lights instead of their actual headlights is ok. It’s NOT.
    -People eating while driving
    -People making a left tun while their right blinker is on, or right turn with left blinker on
    -People making a left or right turn from the wrong lane
    -People going the wrong way on a one way road
    -People going the wrong way on a lane in a parking lot
    -People with brake lights out, NO reverse lights, etc…
    -People driving too fast with a spare tire on their car. (It’s marked on the tire, MAX SPEED 50 MPH) on every single spare I have ever seen, unless it’s a full sized spare, which most vehicles do not have)
    -People passing in the center turn lane
    -People passing on the right shoulder
    -People “lane hogging” the left lane on the highway/interstate. (It IS Tennessee state law that unless you’re “actively passing” you should be in the right lane.) [ Studies have shown it is worse when a person is doing 3 to 5 mph slower in the left lane “lane hogging” than it is for people in the left lane doing 5 to 10 mph over the speed limit.
    -People driving too fast while towing heavy trailers, oversize trailers, trilers that are clearly too big for the vehicle towing them etc…
    -People pulling out in front of you in too short a distance
    -People switching lanes too close to semi’s & semi’s who do the same
    -People driving with excessively damaged/dangerous vehicles
    -People driving with badly broken windshields
    -People driving with broken wipers in the rain
    -People driving like a bat outta heck in heavy traffic
    -People driving on expired vehicle temp tags and expired regular vehicle tags. ( EVERY DAY I see 20 to 30 vehicles on expired tags. About 1/4 of them are a month or so, but MOS are expired by more than 3 months, 6 months, even up to a YEAR AND A HALF expired!) [most that I tell say they know about it]
    -People failing to properly yield, or failing to allow others to merge
    -People who fail to yield to marked pedestrian crossings
    -People speeding in school zones,
    -People who drive far too meager/cautious & people who drive far too aggressive. (There’s not enough mid-range drivers)
    -People who make illegal turns,.. IE,… when turning you’re required BY LAW to turn into the lane CLOSEST TO YOU, not the far lane.
    -People that do not know how to drive through a stoplight that is blinking yellow one way & red the other. (The yellow side has the right of way & proceeds with caution, the red has to stop & yield to the yellow)
    -People who have NO IDEA how to treat a stoplight that has no power. (It’s treated as if it’s a 4-way [or whatever] stop sign!
    -People running red lights (Just last week I was turning off of Douglas Drive wanting to turn left onto Gallatin Ave?… and the light turned green for me, I almost went, but not just one, but FOUR vehicles from my right turned to their left past me going down Douglas drive who RAN THE LIGHT. The last even had the nerve to honk back at me as if “I” was wrong to honk at them.)
    and there are probably a hundred other things I haven’t mentioned here.

    Reply
  5. James Henneberg

    Oh yeah,
    -People who don’t yield to funeral processions, or emergency vehicles
    -People who pass school busses which have their signs out & lights on

    Reply
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