Knoxville, Tennessee and the surrounding areas provide some of the most scenic drives in the United States. Tucked in the Great Smoky Mountains, the breathtaking scenery, curving highways, and unique terrain provide a driving experience unlike any other in the eastern part of the U.S.
Whether you’re visiting Knoxville, or are a long-time resident, the possibility of a car accident is not in any way farfetched. As experienced car accident injury lawyers, however, we know that the easiest way to safeguard yourself from a crash is to follow Tennessee’s driving laws.
Below are 10 Tennessee driving laws every motorist needs to know, courtesy of the Tennessee Department of Safety & Homeland Security:
- Don’t text and drive. This law is number one on this list for a reason. Texting and driving takes the lives of so many Americans, and yet is so easily avoidable. Please remember: it can wait.
- Move over for emergency vehicles. When you’re approaching a stopped emergency vehicle (with its lights activated), motorists are required to yield the right-of-way to the vehicle by moving into another lane.
- Buckle up. In Tennessee, drivers are required to wear a seat belt at all times. The driver of the vehicle is also responsible for others in the car/van/truck (a.k.a. tell them to buckle up).
- Slow down in construction zones. Always obey speed limits, but pay special care to construction areas. Accidents occur frequently in these areas. Speeding violators are subject to a minimum $250 fine.
- Out-of-state drivers can legally carry a handgun. This is only true, of course, if they possess a legally issued Handgun Carry Permit.
- Don’t drink and drive. If you are presumed to be driving under the influence of alcohol (with a BAC of .08 percent or greater), you will be arrested by Tennessee law enforcement. If you are convicted of the charge, first time offenders face a $350 minimum fine and 48 hours in jail. Each offense raises the severity of the punishment. Always have an alternative transportation plan (designated driver, public transportation, taxi, etc.) in mind if you are drinking away from your home.
- The length of your vehicle, plus the length of the recreational vehicle you are towing (a boat or camper, for example) may not exceed 65 feet.
- Children 8 and younger must be seated in a child restraint device. Please be sure your child is in the appropriate car seat for his or her age and weight, as well.
- Motorcyclists must wear a helmet. With no exceptions, all motorcycle operators and passengers must wear a helmet that is certified by the Department of Transportation.
- Drivers can’t consume or possess an open container of alcohol.
While following these laws can greatly decrease your risk of car accident involvement in Tennessee, you can’t control the actions of other drivers. Defensive driving is critical to the safety of you and your passengers.
For more information on Tennessee driving laws, contact a Knoxville car accident lawyer today.
Photo via Visual hunt