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Don't forget to buckle up for Thanksgiving travel

Johnson City Press • Updated Nov 22, 2017 at 1:43 PM

The long Thanksgiving holiday weekend is one of the busiest travel periods of the year, which is why the Tennessee Highway Patrol will be on the lookout for drivers who are not wearing their seat belts, speeding or driving while impaired.

AAA estimates 50.9 million Americans will travel at least 50 miles away from home this Thanksgiving. That prediction is a 3.3 percent increase over last year and would be the most holiday travelers on the highways since 2005.

If you are one of the estimated 1.6 million Tennesseans expected to travel this holiday weekend, don’t forget to to put on your seat belt before going “over the river and through the woods to grandma’s house.”

Officials with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration say about 48 million people do not regularly put on seat belts when they are on the road. Tennessee law requires drivers and passengers to be buckled up in all moving vehicles.

Tennessee law also requires drivers to safely move to the left lane or slow down when they spot public safety vehicles parked in the emergency lanes of interstates and dual-lane highways.

Drivers who fail to yield can be charged with a misdemeanor and fined $50.

Finally, don’t be one of a growing number of distracted drivers on our highways. Examples of distracted driving include eating, texting or putting on makeup while behind the wheel.

Distracted drivers often ignore yield signs, fail to merge correctly and tailgate with sometimes deadly results.

Tennessee law expressly prohibits drivers from texting while they are behind the wheel of a moving car.

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