Johnson City Press Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Opinion

Buckle up, drive safe to grandma’s house

November 23rd, 2011 2:04 pm by Staff Report

“Over the river and through the woods to grandma’s house we go ...”
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But be sure to buckle up before taking to the highway to get to grandma’s house. The Thanksgiving Day holiday weekend is one of the busiest weekends for holiday travel all year, which is why the Tennessee Highway Patrol will be on the lookout for drivers who are not wearing their seatbelts, speeding, driving while impaired or following too closely.
Those who violate the state’s seatbelt law should remember that driving on Tennessee’s highways is a privilege, not a right, and failing to obey the laws of the road could earn you a ticket.
Officials with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration say about 48 million people do not regularly put on seatbelts when they are on the road. A majority of those are young men living in rural areas.
Here’s some more useful advice for drivers to follow when they are traveling the state’s highways: Slow down when you see an orange cone or a “Work Zone” sign. More than 1,100 Americans are killed in work zone accidents annually. Officials say 80 percent of those killed are motorists and their passengers.
State 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. Distracted drivers are preoccupied by eating, using cell phones and putting on makeup while they are behind the wheel.Distracted drivers ignore yield signs, fail to merge correctly and tailgate with sometimes deadly results. According to AAA, between 4,000 and 8,000 crashes related to distracted driving occur daily in the United States.
Don’t become a statistic this holiday weekend. Keep both hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road and you will arrive to grandma’s house safely for Thanksgiving.

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