Tennessee’s Driving Laws

Each state has its own unique driving laws, and those laws are put in place to keep everyone on the roads safe. Tennessee is no different. Unfortunately, we may have a tendency to just “wing it” when it comes to driving laws and assume that common sense is a universal body of knowledge.

Although that’s a great operating principle for life, that’s not always going to be the case on the road. Common sense isn’t quite enough when it comes to knowing the ins and outs of driving regulations.

Get to know Tennessee’s driving laws, so that you can become the best possible driver and protect yourself in worst case scenarios.

Specific Rules in Tennessee

Tennessee’s driving laws are all important, but start by memorizing these ones.

  • Seat belts: In Tennessee, the front seat occupants always have to be wearing a seatbelt, no matter what. Backseat occupants are allowed to choose whether or not to wear a seatbelt once they’re over the age of 16. Of course, children below a certain age (in this case, under the age of 9) have to be in a special child passenger safety seat.

  • Drunk driving: Driving with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 or above is considered driving under the influence in Tennessee. If you get convicted of a DUI charge, you’ll have to place an ignition interlock device (IID) in your car-- they’re mandatory, even for first-time offenders.

  • Open container laws: Drivers are not allowed to handle or possess open containers of alcohol while driving in Tennessee. However, technically, passengers are allowed to possess open containers of alcohol.

  • Distracted driving: Like many states, Tennessee prohibits texting while driving. As an added safety measure, Tennessee also bans the use of handheld devices for novice drivers (i.e., those with learning or intermediate licenses).

Tennessee Driving Laws Overview

Drunk Driving and Your Tennessee Auto Accident

For an example as to how these laws apply in an auto accident scenario, let's look at a drunk driving case. A woman is at a bar, has four drinks and because of that, has a blood alcohol content of 0.12. She leaves immediately after finishing her last drink and starts driving home.

The woman fails to stop at an intersection and hit you head on, damaging your car and causing injuries to your head, along with whiplash and assorted minor injuries. In this scenario, the woman broke the law, and would also be liable for your injuries, as drunk driving is a negligent act.

You shouldn’t have to pay for her mistake, and thanks to Tennessee’s laws, you may not have to. Tennessee is a tort state, and this means that you’ll be able to file a personal injury claim after your head-on collision.

This claim could earn you money to pay for your medical expenses and help you recover without worrying about making ends meet.

Hiring a Personal injury Lawyer

Sadly, that compensation won’t be automatic. You’ll have to show that the other driver’s negligence caused your accident, and gathering evidence can be draining, even if you’re in the best of health. This is why a personal injury lawyer could be the weapon your case needs.

Your attorney can put together a persuasive case for why you should receive benefits, and with his or her hard work, those benefits can become a reality.