Cruising the roads of Tennessee can be a breeze if you know all of the rules and regulations. You can easily make use of the large open highways and small country roads of this Southern state while being safe and knowledgeable of other drivers and pedestrians.
Traffic Rules and Regulations in Tennessee
- The driver and passenger in the front seat of a passenger vehicle must wear a seatbelt whenever the vehicle is in motion. Passengers in the back seat must also wear seatbelts if they are under the age of 17.
- All children under a year old, or weighing less than 20 pounds must be secured in an appropriate, rear-facing child restraint system. Children between one and three, weighing more than 20 pounds can sit in a forward-facing child seat, and children under eight and less than 4 feet 9 inches tall must have a booster seat.
- Always yield to fire trucks entering or leaving fire stations. Likewise, you should always yield to all emergency vehicles with sirens and flashing lights. Do not enter an intersection if an emergency vehicle is approaching, and if one is overtaking you, pull over to the side of the road.
- Red flashing traffic lights signal traffic to stop and look before continuing through an intersection. Yellow flashing traffic lights are caution signals, and you should slow down to ensure that it’s safe to continue without stopping.
- High-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes on freeways are designated by white diamonds in the lanes and/or “HOV” signs. These are reserved for motorcycles, carpools, and high occupancy vehicles (2 or more people).
- If driving in fog, reduce your speed and turn on lights to low beam. The fog line on the right side of the road can be used for guidance, but have extreme caution.
- When a police car is attempting to stop your vehicle, decrease your speed and pull over to the right side of the road and come to a complete stop. Remain in your seat and have the driver’s side window completely down before replacing both hands on the steering wheel. Once done so wait for communication from the police officer.
The speed limits in Tennessee are similar to in neighboring states. Outside of major cities like Nashville, you will encounter a lot of highways and country roads if you go off the beaten path. Also as in other states, there are often radar speed zones and also law enforcement monitoring speeds so be aware of how fast you are going so you don’t get a speeding ticket.
|Within city limits:||30 mph|
|Undivided rural road:||35-65 mph|
|Divided rural road:||55-65 mph|
|Freeway within city limits:||55-70 mph|
|Freeway outside city limits:||70 mph|
Overtaking & Turns
- While driving on a multi-lane highway, drivers must use the right lane unless passing slower vehicles, turning left, obeying traffic conditions or emergencies
- Drivers may make a right on red in Tennessee after coming to a full stop at the intersection and ensuring that the roadway is clear and it is safe to make the turn. Watch out for “No Right on Red” signs, as these will supersede this law.
- U-turns are prohibited at intersections where police officers or traffic lights are controlling the flow of traffic, where visibility is less than 500 feet in each direction, between intersections on city streets, and in locations where a “No U-Turns” sign is posted.
Car Rental with Sixt Rent a Car
Sixt offers an array of premium rental car options for every kind of traveler. Our selection of luxury sedans, convertibles, sports cars, SUVs and compact cars will get you where you need to go to in Tennessee in style. Choose from our top-quality car models from BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi and many others.