Don’t Be a Wiener; Remember to Follow These Driving Laws

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We love this photo for several reasons.  First, this really is the Oscar Mayer wiener-mobile getting pulled over for a driving violation although it looks like it could be a scene from a Jim Carey or Chevy Chase movie.  Second, it happened in John’s home state of Wisconsin.  We can’t help but wonder if it had been a brat-mobile or a cheese-mobile whether the vehicle would have been pulled over at all.  Third, this photo inspired us to remind Tennessee drivers of some important laws so that they are not an Oscar Mayer wiener.  So read on to find out what the wiener-mobile did wrong and what you can do right.

According to news reports, Wisconsin law enforcement pulled over the Oscar Mayer wiener-mobile because it failed to move over as it approached an emergency vehicle.  Tennessee has a similar law which requires drivers to move over to the adjacent lane if it is safe to do so.  If a driver can’t move over safely, the driver must slow down as they pass.  This law was initially passed to protect emergency responders such as police, ambulance personnel etc. as they handled accidents and other issues on the roadway.  Later however, Tennessee updated the law to also include utility vehicles.  But honestly, this should apply to anyone who is on the side of the road.  It really is not that much to ask to either move over or slow down to prevent an accident.  While the driver of the Oscar Mayer wiener-mobile got a warning, if the police officer is not feeling generous, Tennessee drivers could face a $500 fine and 30 days in jail.   Yes, you read that correctly.  Tennessee is serious about preventing these types of accidents.

In addition to the Move Over law, here are a couple more that Tennessee drivers need to remember:

  • Tennessee drivers are no longer allowed to hold their phone for any reason. You can’t put your phone on speaker or video and hold it like a Kardashian or Kylie Jenner as you drive down the road (without a seatbelt and while shooting Instagram shots), although we continue to see drivers doing this virtually every day. You can’t hold your phone to look at your driving directions, text, email, etc.  You can’t hold your phone if you are the driver. Period.  Tennessee ranks worst in the nation for distracted driving deaths.  This law is trying to force drivers to do better or risk a fine and, what will surely be, an increase in their car insurance.
  • The days are getting longer and spring is around the corner so bicyclists will be out in greater numbers. Under Tennessee law, bicyclists are defined as a vehicle.  Accordingly, they have the same rights and responsibilities as any other vehicle.  Because they are treated as a vehicle, bicyclists have the right to ride in the center of the lane; they are are not required to ride on the right edge.  Other drivers must operate due care when operating around bicycles.  When it comes to passing or overtaking a bicyclist, drivers should give 3 feet of clearance.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car, bicycle or pedestrian accident, our award-winning lawyers are here to help.  We offer a free, initial consultation and we only get paid if we recover money for you.  Give us a call at any of our three convenient Middle Tennessee locations:

Nashville: 615-669-3993

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