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TN Safety Belt Laws:
CRD (Child Restraint Device)
a. Front seat everyone seatbeats
b. Backseat riders no seat belts unless: 17 and under, the driver has a permit or intermediate driver, age 4-8 and shorter than 4'9 must be in a booster seat with a seat belt
TN Safety Belt Laws: Child Safety Restraint Rules
Child must be in a safety or booster seat if:
a. child is under 1 yo or weigh less than 20 lbs must be facing rear
b. 1-3 yo weighing more than 20 lbs must be in car seat facing forward
c. 4-8 whose height is under 4'9 must be in a booster seat and wearing a seat belt
d. can be charged 50.00 if child up to 16 yo is not restrained properly,; if the parent/guardian is present but not driving, they are responsible for making sure the child is restrained and will be fined; if no using a car seat or booster seat for kids under 9 yo and under 4'9 the punishment is greater, could be charged w/class d misdemeanor, required to attend a driving class and fees and fines
Safety Belt Facts: 5 Ways Safety Belts Prevent Injury
1. Preventing ejection: chances of being ejected is 1 in 8
2. Shifting crash forces to the strongest parts of the body's structure.
3. Spreading crash forces over a wide area of the body: reduce the possibility of injury from "hostile" surfaces inside the car
4. Keeping the body more closely in the "proper driving posture"
5. Protecting the head and spinal cord
Traffic Signs
-Traffic control devices include: traffic signals, signs and pavement markings; they can be provided by law enforcement, highway construction personnel or school crossing guards (directions from these individuals must be obeyed even if different from laws)
-Traffic signs give info about the road, the highway system, traffic flow and the local regulations and laws
-They warn about hazards, identify your route and direct the speed and movement of traffic, they provide directions and info on places of interests
-Traffic signs are placed to help you and to instruct you in the best and safest use of the highway. All signs must be obeyed at all times, unless a policeman or other traffic officer directs you to do otherwise.
Signs Colors Code:
RED: Stop, yield, don not enter or wrong way
YELLOW: General warning
ORANGE: construction and maintenance warning
BLACK: regulatory, route markers
BROWN: public recreation areas and parks
GREEN: distance direction and information
WHITE: regulatory
BLUE: motorist services guidance
Signs Colors Code: RED
is used only as a background color for STOP signs, multiple supplemental plates (FOUR-WAY or ALL WAY), DO-NOT-ENTER messages, WRONG WAY signs and on Interstate route markers. Red is also used as a legend color for YIELD signs, parking prohibition signs, the circular outline and diagonal bar prohibitory symbol.
Signs Colors Code: BLACK-WHITE
is used for regulatory signs. Regulatory signs are used to inform road users of selected traffic laws or regulations. Black is used for a message on white, yellow and orange signs. Whenever white is specified as a sign color, it includes silver-colored reflecting coating or elements that reflect white light.
Signs Colors Code: WHITE
Is used as the background for route makers, guide signs, the Fallout Shelter Directional sign and regulatory signs, except STOP signs and for the legend on brown, green, blue, black and red signs. Whenever white is specified as a sign color, this is referencing the silver-colored reflective coating and other materials that reflect white light.
*IMPORTANT: Whenever white is specified as a sign color, it includes silver-colored reflecting coating or elements that reflect white light.
Signs Colors Code: ORANGE
is used as a background color for construction and maintenance signs and shall not be used for any other purpose.
Signs Colors Code: BROWN
is used as a background color for guide information signs related to points of recreational cultural interest.
Signs Colors Code: YELLOW
is used as a background color for warning signs, except where orange is specified, and for school signs.
Signs Colors Code: GREEN
is used as a background color for guide signs (other than those using brown or white), mileposts and as a legend color with a white background for permissive parking regulations.
Signs Colors Code: BLUE
is used as a background color for information signs related to motorist services (including police services and rest areas) and the Emergency Route Marker
Signs Colors Code: FLUORESCENT YELLOW-GREEN
is now in use for signage in school zones and other pedestrian traffic areas such as crosswalks
Octagon Shape — Stop
- the only 8 sided sign
- always means there is danger
- allows be red w/ white lettering
- tells you that you are approaching an important street or highway and that you must bring your car to a complete stop, not going beyond the crosswalk.
Triangular Shape — Yield
- 3 sides
- means you are approaching an intersection and must stop and wait when other vehicles are approaching from he right or left on the other roadway
- If you are sure no other cars are coming you need not come to a complete stop but you must slow down and enter the intersection with caution.
- Always stop when traffic is heavy
Round Shape — Railroad Ahead
- circular sign
- always means that you are approaching a railroad grade crossing
- must slow down and be ready to stop
- tells you that it is up to you to stop if you see a train coming
Broad "X" Shape — Railroad Here
- crossbuck sign
- placed at all railroad grade crossings and shows exactly where the tracks are located
- the smaller signs placed on the post directly below the crossbuck. They show the number of tracks at a particular crossing.
- This is very important because, when there are two or more tracks, one train passing might hide the approach of a train from the other direction. - Some crossbucks are equipped with two lights underneath the "X.
- Flashing lights on a crossbuck mean that a train is coming
- Always stop when the lights are flashing.
- Remain stopped until the train has passed. If there is more than one track, be sure all tracks are clear before crossing. - Some crossbucks are equipped with both flashing lights and a gate. - Stop when the lights begin flashing and before the gate comes down.
- Remain stopped until the gates are raised and the lights stop flashing.
Diamond Shape — Hazardous Or Unusual Condition Ahead
- call for caution and usually for a slower speed
- Some carry written information. Others are miniature symbolic road maps that warn of highway conditions ahead
- tells you that you are approaching an intersection
- The black lines show just what kind of intersection this is
Rectangular Shape - Special Laws, Regulations or Important Information
- lane control signs
- indicate that traffic in the respective lanes must either move straight through or turn left. These signs are sometimes mounted overhead
*Speed Control: Speed Limits
- show the maximum speed allowed, the minimum speed required or a change in speed limit
Regulatory Signs
- used on a highway that has more than one lane going each direction
- means that you must drive in the extreme right lane unless you want to pass a slower moving car or make a left turn
- Never straddle lanes or drive in the center lane when moving more slowly than other traffic around you
No Passing Signs
- tell you where passing is not permitted
- Passing areas are based on how far you can see ahead
- considers unseen hazards such as hills and curves, intersections, driveways and other places a vehicle may enter the roadway
- A triangular No Passing Zone sign can also be used. These signs are yellow or orange and placed on the left side of the roadway
- Signs having a white background and a red circle and a line diagonally through them mean "NO" according to what is shown behind the red symbol
- in TN it is illegal to stand on a roadway to solicit a ride
Warning Signs - Diamond Shape (Yellow)
- Warning signs alert road users to conditions that might call for a reduction of speed or an action in the interest of safety and efficient traffic operations
Work Area Signs
- These construction, maintenance or emergency operations signs are generally diamond or rectangular shaped, orange with black letters or symbols and warn you that people are working on or near the roadway
- include reduced speed, detours, slow moving construction equipment and lane closures
- In work areas, a person with a sign or flag may control traffic
Channeling Devices
- Barricades, vertical panels, concrete barriers, drums and cones are the most common devices used to guide drivers safely through work zone
- When driving near these devices, keep your vehicle in the middle of the lane and obey the posted speed limit
- As you leave the work zone, stay in your lane and maintain your speed. Don't change lanes until you are completely clear of the work zone
Construction Signs
- Construction signs are generally diamond or rectangular shaped and orange with black letters symbols
- Their purpose is to warn drivers that people are working on or near the roadway
- The warnings include reduced speed, detours, slow moving construction equipment and lane closures
Electronic Message or Arrow Signs:
- These are mobile devices that are often used on some roads to give advance warning of construction zones, special traffic directions, road closures or in some cases weather hazards.
- Flashing arrow panels alert approaching drivers of lane closures. You must begin to merge into the remaining open lane(s) well in advance of this sign.
Highway Flaggers
- Flaggers, at most worksites, will be using paddles with the word stop on one side and slow on the other
- red flags are used in emergency situations as shown below
- The basic hand movements for stop and proceed remain the same, whether a flag or paddle is used
- Flaggers along with utility workers, construction worker and other emergency personnel directing traffic, can also be seen wearing FLUORESCENT YELLOW-GREEN clothing, vests and hard helmets in these construction work zones
Traffic Signals
- are used to control vehicle drivers and pedestrians at some intersections and crosswalks
- Signals promote better movement of traffic on busy roads by assigning right of way
- Traffic Signals are usually placed at heavily traveled intersections
- These lights tell you when or where to stop and go. A green light means you can go if it is safe. A yellow light means caution—prepare to stop for the red light. The red light always means stop. Standard traffic lights are red, yellow and green, from top to bottom respectively
Traffic Signals: RED
Stop behind crosswalk or stop line. Unless otherwise posted, you may turn right on red after coming to a complete stop and when no pedestrians or cross traffic are present
Traffic Signals: YELLOW
Caution—prepare to stop.
- The red stop signal will be exhibited immediately after the yellow light appears.
- Adjust speed immediately to come to a smooth stop. You must stop if it is safe to do so. Do not speed up to beat the light. If you are already IN the intersection when the yellow light comes on, do not stop, but continue cautiously through the intersection. Tennessee law only requires the yellow light to be exhibited for a minimum of three seconds before the red light
- Collisions often happen at intersections on yellow lights
Traffic Signals: GREEN
-Go IF the intersection is clear.
- You must yield to pedestrians and vehicles still in the intersection at light change.
- The green signal gives permission to proceed, BUT you must still observe the laws of the right-of-way.
- Yield to oncoming vehicles if you are turning left.
- Never attempt to "jump the gun" by starting through the intersection early or by making a quick left turn in front of oncoming traffic. This is extremely dangerous!
PROTECTED ARROWS
- When the arrow is green, you have the right-of-way and may drive the vehicle only in the direction of the arrow, after yielding to vehicles and pedestrians already in the intersection
- When the arrow changes to yellow, prepare to yield to oncoming traffic
- When the arrow is red or your lane has the red light, all turns are prohibited. This is true even if other lanes of traffic have a green signal and your path through the intersection appears to be clear
- When traffic lights have added lights with directional arrows, drivers may cautiously enter the intersection only to make the movement indicated by the arrow
- The light for your lane controls the direction in which you may lawfully proceed
- If traffic circumstances have left you in an intersection waiting to make a left turn, and the light turns red, you should complete the turn when the traffic clears
- Do not try to back up or stay in the intersection blocking traffic. Better yet, don't find yourself in this situation! You should not pull into an intersection to make a turn until your path is clear
Malfunctioning Traffic Light: What to do when the light is out!
- Tennessee state law requires that if a signal is not working, the intersection is to be treated as if it were a four-way stop intersection.
- Stop as you would if there were stop signs in all directions
- The right-of-way law says that if there are two or more vehicles at the intersection stopping at the same time, the driver on the left would yield to the driver on the right
- The driver on the right who arrives first gets to go first. However, stay cautious and be sure it is safe to proceed even when you are in the first car to reach the intersection
Lane Control Signals:
The signals below may appear as single or multiple units over each lane of the road. They are most often used when the direction of the flow of traffic changes during different hours of the day. Also, these signals indicate whether toll plaza lanes are open or closed
GENERAL PRINCIPLES OF PAVEMENT LANE MARKINGS: Uniform Highway Markings

Lines and symbols on the roadway
(1) divide the road into lanes
(2) tell you when you may pass other vehicles or change lanes
(3) indicate which lanes to use for turns
(4) define pedestrian walkways
(5) show where you must stop for signs or traffic signals
- Line colors tell you if you are on a oneway or two-way roadway
Edge and Lane Lines:
- Lines along the side of the road show you where the edge of the road is located
- A solid white line indicates the right edge of the traffic lane on a road
- A solid or broken yellow line indicates the left edge of traffic lanes going in your direction
- If you ever find yourself with yellow to your right and white to your left, you are going the wrong way
- Remember, on a divided highway, the side of the roadway to the left of the driver and nearest the median always has a yellow line
- The right side of the roadway will always have a white line
Yellow Lane Markings:
- Lines separating traffic moving in opposite directions are yellow
- Yellow lines are also used to mark a boundary or barrier of the travel path at the location of a particular hazard, such as bridge supports, etc
- Broken yellow lines mean that you MAY cross the line to pass if there is no oncoming traffic and it is safe to do so
- Two solid yellow lines between lanes of traffic mean you MAY NOT cross the lines from either direction, even if no oncoming traffic is in view. You may cross a solid yellow line to turn into a driveway or side road if it is safe to do so
- One solid yellow line and one broken yellow: Where there is both a solid and a broken yellow line between opposing lanes of traffic, you may not pass if the solid yellow line is on your side. If the broken yellow line is on your side, you are in the "passing zone" and may pass if it is safe to do so. You must safely return to your side of the roadway before the passing zone ends
White Lane Markings:
- Multiple lanes of traffic that flow in the same direction are separated by white lane markings. You will find white lane markings on freeways, limited access highways, bypasses and oneway streets.
- Broken white lines between lanes of traffic mean you may cross the lines to pass or change lanes if it is safe to do so
- One solid white line between lanes of traffic means that you should stay in your lane and should not cross the line to pass (unless an emergency situation requires you to change lanes). Also, you should not cross a double solid white line
Crosswalks
- White crosswalk lines are painted across a road to indicate pedestrian crossing areas
- Crosswalks define the area where pedestrians may cross the roadway and may be located at intersections or in the middle of a block
- However, not all crosswalks are marked
- You must yield the right-of way to pedestrians who are in or are about to enter the crosswalk or street
Stop Lines
- White stop lines are painted on the pavement across traffic lanes, usually at intersections, to indicate the vehicle stopping position, before traffic signs or signals
(A) If the motorist is required to stop at the intersection, the vehicle must be stopped behind this stop line. If no stop line is painted on the pavement, all vehicles required to stop must:
(B) Stop the vehicle before crossing the first line of the crosswalk (if the crosswalk is marked), and
(C) Stop the vehicle before the front bumper crosses the white edge line of the cross street, in order to keep the vehicle from protruding out into the cross street traffic
High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) Lanes
- are designated on highways by a diamond-shaped marking in the center of the lane
- HOV lanes may also be special lanes separated by a barrier
- During heavy traffic periods, HOV lanes are reserved for buses, vanpools, motorcycles, carpools and other high occupancy vehicles
- Road signs indicate the minimum number of passengers a vehicle must carry to use the HOV lanes and the times that HOV restrictions are in effect
Turn Lane Arrow
- If you are traveling in a lane marked with a curved arrow and the word ONLY , you must turn in the direction of the arrow
- If your lane is marked with both a curved and a straight arrow, you may turn in the direction of the arrow or you may go straight.
- Double or triple arrows indicate more than one movement is permitted
- Single arrows indicate only one mandatory direction is allowed
White Crossbuck with RR
- A white crossbuck and the letters RR are painted on the pavement as a warning marker for many railroad/highway grade crossings.
Use of Headlights
- Required Night Use: Your car headlights must be turned on 30 minutes after sunset until 30 minutes before sunrise
- Required Daylight / Inclement Weather Use:Also, your car headlights must be turned on: (1) At any time when daylight is not good enough for you to see persons or vehicles clearly at a distance of 200 ft ahead (2) When rain, mist, snow, or other precipitation requires constant use of windshield wipers.
- Using headlights when wipers are in use is not just a good safety precaution — it's Tennessee law!
- Headlights turned on during daylight hours will make your vehicle easier to see to oncoming vehicles and pedestrians.
- Use headlights when driving at dusk
- Dimming of Headlights Required: When your vehicle's high beam headlights are on, you must dim or lower the beam when an oncoming vehicle is within 500feet (approximately the distance of one city block) or when you are following another vehicle within 500ft
- Dimming headlights when following other vehicles is an important safety step
- The glare from your headlights in a rear view mirror can blind another driver including a motorcyclist
- Limited Use of Parking Lights or Auxiliary Fog Lights: The following procedures should be followed when using these types of lights:
(1) The law requires a vehicle stopped or parked on a road or shoulder to have parking lights on when limited visibility conditions exist
(2) Do not drive a vehicle with only the parking lights on when driving at night or in inclement weather. The small size of parking lights may cause other drivers to think your vehicle is farther away than it actually is. When there is limited visibility, the use of parking lights alone is not only unsafe, it is against the law
(3) It is also illegal to have auxiliary lights or fog lights on by themselves or on at times when you are required to dim high beam headlights. These very bright lights make it difficult for oncoming drivers to see, and the glare may reflect blindingly in the rear view mirror of vehicles you are following
- Daytime Running Lights: Some newer vehicles have headlights that are on anytime the vehicle is running. These lights make it easier for others to see the vehicle, even in daylight. This reduces the likelihood of collision
Littering
- is against the law
- fines starts at $50 and up to $500 depending on the amount
- 40 hrs of public service removing litter and additionally 8 hrs of working in a waste recycling center
Slow-Moving Vehicles
- It is against the law to drive slower than the posted minimum speed under normal driving conditions
- You may drive more slowly than the minimum speed if you are driving in bad weather, heavy traffic or on a bad road
- If there is no posted minimum speed, it is still against the law to drive so slowly that you block traffic
- You are considered to be driving a slow-moving vehicle if you are traveling at a rate of speed that is 10 miles per hour or more below the lawful maximum speed
- If five or more vehicles are lined up behind you, turn or pull off the roadway as soon as you can do so safely. Slow drivers, who block other traffic, cause many accidents
The Basic Speed Rule
- The speed at which you drive determines how much time you have to act or react and how long it takes to stop
- The higher the speed, the less time drivers have to spot hazards
- Judge the speed of other traffic, and react to avoid the mistakes of other drivers
- The Basic Speed Rule (BSR) is not a Tennessee law, but it is a general safety principle. The BSR does not set an exact speed limit; instead, it teaches that the speed you may drive is limited by current conditions.
- For example, if the posted speed limit is 65 m.p.h., and you are driving at night on a twolane state highway and it's raining or foggy, 65 m.p.h. is too fast for those conditions.
- To obey the BSR, think about your speed in relation to other traffic (including pedestrians, bicycles and motorcycles), the surface and width of the road, hazards at intersections, weather, visibility and any other conditions that could affect safety
Principles of the Basic Speed Rule:
1.Your speed must be careful and prudent. Use skill and good judgment. 2.Your speed must be reasonable and proper, not too fast and not too slow, for any conditions including:
• Amount of Traffic - How many cars on the road
• Speed of Traffic - How fast or slow it's moving
• Whether Pedestrians are Present - Especially children in school zones or neighborhoods
• Surface of the Road - Rough or smooth, paved, gravel, etc.
• Width of the Road - One-lane, two-lane, four-lane
• Structure of the Road - Straight, curving, bridges, narrow shoulders, etc.
• Visibility - How far ahead you can see clearly
• Weather Conditions - Rain, snow, ice, fog, etc.
• Your Own Driving Ability
3.Do not drive so slowly that you block, hinder, or interfere with other vehicles moving at normal speeds.
4.Your speed must be adjusted to conditions so you can stop within a clear distance ahead.
TN Speed Laws
- the speed limit on primary and secondary state and federal highways is 55 m.p.h.
- When driving, adjust your speed to flow along with the speed at which other traffic is moving - provided the other traffic is traveling within the posted speed limit
Interstate Speed Limits
- The maximum speed set by Tennessee law for interstate highways is 70 m.p.h.
- Reduce speed for:
(1) curves
(2) when the roadway is slippery (during rain, snow, icy conditions), or
(3) when it is foggy and difficult to see clearly
Rural Interstate Limits
70 m.p.h. is the speed posted on most of the rural sections of Tennessee interstate highways
Urban Interstate Limits
In the more congested urban or metropolitan areas of Tennessee interstates, the limit is typically 55 m.p.h
- It is unlawful for any person to drive a vehicle less than 55 m.p.h. in the left most lane of any Interstate highway, unless traffic congestion and flow prevent safe driving at such speed. On the interstates, the minimum speed limit in the right lane(s) is 45 m.p.h.
Speeding in School Zones
- Speed limits in all school zones are regulated when children are going to or from the school or during a school recess hour
- Exceeding the school zone speed limit is by law considered to be reckless driving
- The penalty includes an automatic six points added to your driving record, which automatically results in an advisory letter being sent to you
Speeding in Highway Work Zones
- Highway work zones are those portions of a street or highway where construction maintenance or utility work is being done to the road, its shoulders or any other items related to the roadway
- Highway work zones are easily recognized by the presence of orange(or yellow-green) signs and other orange traffic control devices, flashing lights on equipment and workers dressed in highly visible clothing (orange or yellow-green)
- $250 DOLLARS AND UP TO A MAXIMUM FINE OF $500 DOLLARS FOR VIOLATIONS OF THE SPEED LIMIT POSTED IN ACTIVE WORK ZONES.
BRAKING, FOLLOWING AND STOPPING DISTANCES
By law, all automobiles must have two separate methods of applying brakes
BRAKING, FOLLOWING AND STOPPING DISTANCES: Braking
(1) You should apply your brakes slowly and evenly by applying gradual pressure. (2) Start braking early as a signal to the cars behind you.
(3) If you brake too strong or quickly, you could skid and lose control of your vehicle.
(4) A sudden stop makes it harder for drivers behind you to stop without hitting your vehicle.
* As a general rule for vehicles without anti-lock brakes, if the car starts to skid, take your foot off the brake and turn the steering wheel in the direction of the skid; This is recommended, if you can do so without running off the road, hitting something, or steering into oncoming traffic.
• With a standard transmission, you can use the gearshift to slow down when approaching a stop sign or signal. First, flash the brake lights to signal any cars behind you. Then, shift down to a lower gear.
• Many of today's cars are equipped with 4 wheel anti-lock braking systems (ABS).
- A general overview of ABS braking procedures includes:
• When slowing or stopping, apply firm, steady pressure to the brake pedal. Never pump the pedal with ABS.
• Always brake and steer when using anti-lock brakes-With ABS, you "brake and steer." Push the brake pedal while steering around hazards and keep your foot firmly on the brake pedal until the car comes to a stop. Do not take your foot off the pedal or pump the brakes because that will disengage the anti-lock system.
• If you are braking to avoid an emergency or crash, gradually steer the car around any obstacles. ABS was designed to prevent vehicles from locking wheels and to allow drivers to steer when skidding.
• Expect noise and vibration in the brake pedal when your ABS is in use-- These sensations tell you ABS is working.
- There are some instances when drivers should be especially alert, including:
• When driving next to parked cars
• When approaching any type of intersection • When approaching traffic signals and crosswalks
• When driving in a school zone or residential area
• When seeing brake lights of other cars
• When driving in heavy, slow moving traffic
- Drivers should know the difference between "covering the brake" and "riding the brake." In situations listed above, "covering the brake" means the driver's foot needs to hover over the brake or between the brake and gas pedals for quicker response time.
- "Riding the brake" is keeping your foot resting or slightly pressed down on the brake
- This adds much wear and tear on the vehicle's brake system, and also gives other drivers the false impression that a stop is imminent. Covering the brake is often smart and a safe driving practice; Riding the brake is NOTa safe practice.
BRAKING, FOLLOWING AND STOPPING DISTANCES: Following Distances
Tennessee law states:"The driver of a motor vehicle shall not follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard for the speed of such vehicles and the traffic upon and the condition of the highway."
The Two-Second Rule
- To share the road safely, stay a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you
- Use the following tips to determine if you are following too closely:
A. As the car ahead of you passes a stationary point on the road (a sign post, driveway, utility pole, etc.), count the seconds it takes you to reach the same spot. (In the illustration below, you are driving the red vehicle.)
B. Count to yourself "one-thousand and one, one-thousand and two," etc. You should NOT reach the same point on the road before you finish counting to at least "onethousand-two." If you do, you are following too closely. C. Slow down slightly to increase the space between you and the other vehicle. Find another spot to check your new following distance. Repeat this exercise until you are following no closer than two seconds.
Stopping Distances
- Stopping suddenly is dangerous and usually indicates that a driver was not paying attention, was speeding or was not allowing a safe following distance
- Try to avoid panic stops by seeing events well in advance. By slowing down or changing lanes, you may not have to stop at all, and if you do, it can be a more gradual and safer stop
- As a rule, it is best to never stop on the road, unless necessary for safety or to obey a law (stop sign, etc.)
There are three steps in stopping a vehicle:
• Perception time: The length of time it takes a driver to see and recognize a dangerous situation. • Reaction time: The time from perception of danger to the start of braking. The average is 2/3 of a second, as noted in blue section of charts on the next page.
• Braking time: This depends on the type and condition of vehicle brakes, as well as vehicle speed.
Stopping distance can vary widely due to many factors:
• Type and condition of the road/pavement;
• Type and condition of vehicle tires and brakes;
• Vehicle design and condition of the shock absorbers;
• Vehicle weight when loaded or towing.

- It takes longer to stop than most people realize
STOPS REQUIRED BY LAW: Tennessee law states:
Every driver approaching a stop sign shall stop before entering the nearest side of a crosswalk, or stop at a clearly marked stop line. If neither is present, then
(1) stop at a point nearest the intersecting roadway where the driver has a view of approaching traffic on the intersecting roadway, and
(2) stop before entering the actual intersection
STOPS REQUIRED BY LAW
*Tennessee Code defines "stop" as "complete cessation of movement."
- At stop signs and right-turn on-red intersections, come to a COMPLETE stop (not a rolling stop) and go only when traffic is clear.
- Approaching traffic should not have to slow down or change lanes for your vehicle
You should:
• Come to a full and complete stop at the stop sign or traffic signal. Often, a wide white stop line will be painted on the pavement in line with the sign. You must stop your vehicle behind this line.
• If no pavement markings are present, stop when the front of your vehicle is even with the stop sign's placement on the roadside.
• If you cannot see whether the intersection is clear of crossing traffic, edge up slowly until traffic is clearly visible from both directions.
• If the intersection where the stop sign/traffic signal is placed has a crosswalk for pedestrians marked on the pavement, you must stop before the front of your vehicle reaches the nearest white line marking the border of the crosswalk.
• If there are pedestrians in the crosswalk or about to enter the crosswalk, you must wait for them to cross before proceeding.
• Once the crosswalk is clear, you may slowly edge forward to check traffic before crossing the intersection or entering the roadway.
• When stopping behind another vehicle already stopped at the intersection, make sure you allow adequate "gap" space between the vehicles so you are not "tailgating."

- A basic rule of thumb is that you should be able to see the license plate and/or the other vehicle's back tire where it meets the pavement
- This "gap" provides a safety zone in the event that the other vehicle rolls back slightly or stalls. If the vehicle stalls, you would still be able to maneuver around it safely. The gap provides a way out in the event of an emergency, such as another vehicle approaching from behind so fast that you may need to move to avoid a rear-end collision.
• Once the vehicle in front of you has moved on through the intersection, you may move forward to the stop line. Remember, you still must bring your vehicle to a FULL STOP at the stop line.
• A complete stop is required at a flashing red traffic light, just as with a stop sign.
• After you have stopped, if there is no traffic from the right or left, you may proceed. When there is traffic on the crossroad (right to left) and/or oncoming traffic (heading toward you) from the other side of the intersection, you must follow the right-of-way procedures. (Right-of-Way rules are discussed in depth later in this chapter.)
• You must stop completely when directed to stop by a flag person at a road construction site or by a police officer directing you to stop in any situation.
Rolling Stops

**A complete stop is required by law.
*Rolling stops are dangerous and illegal
- A rolling stop occurs when the driver only slows down for a stop sign or traffic signal and proceeds through the intersection or turn without bringing the vehicle to a full and complete stop
- Most law enforcement officers and driver education instructors agree that a vehicle has not come to a complete stop until the driver feels the car lurch forward after all motion has ceased
- Rolling stops are grounds for receiving a traffic ticket AND for failing the driver examination road test
The following are reasons to avoid rolling stops:
• A driver may not see a child or other pedestrian who may think the car will follow the law and come to a complete stop
• There is a better chance of seeing possible hazards, because the driver who comes to a full stop has a longer observation period at the intersection
• If two drivers are traveling at right angles to one another, and both fail to stop, a collision is almost a certainty
• Police and insurance companies will hold the driver who fails to stop completely liable in the event of a crash, possibly resulting in fines, loss of license, increased insurance rates or loss of insurance coverage
Stopping for Railroad Crossings


"Stop—Look—Listen— Look Again!"
- Railroad crossings have pavement markings that include a large crossbuck ("X"), the letters "RR", a no-passing zone stripe and a stop line
- Railroad crossing collisions should not happen. When they do, it usually means drivers are not paying attention to signs, pavement markings and other warnings that tell when a train is coming.
- Every motor vehicle should be driven at a rate of speed that will permit the vehicle to be stopped before reaching the nearest rail of a railroad crossing
- The vehicle should not be driven over the crossing until all railroad tracks are completely clear of train traffic
- Violations of railroad signals or signs carry the same penalties as violations of other traffic control devices
- When you approach a railroad crossing and a train is coming, you must stop between 15 and 50 feet from the railroad tracks.
- Wait until the train has passed and it is safe to cross before proceeding across the tracks
The following are indications that a train is approaching an intersection:
• The crossing has a crossbuck sign with flashing lights to warn drivers when a train is approaching.
• The crossing has a crossing gate that is lowered, blocking access to the railroad tracks when a train is approaching.
• A human flagger signals drivers that a train is approaching.
• Trains are required to signal a horn when they are approximately 1,500 feet from passing through a railroad crossing.
• An approaching train is visible to the driver
- Never drive across a railroad crossing when any of the above indications of an approaching train are present

*Tennessee law requires certain vehicles to stop at all railroad grade/highway crossings, whether or not any signs or signals are activated when the vehicle approaches the crossing
The vehicles listed below are required by law to stop before crossing ANY railroad grade crossing:
• Church or school buses, regardless of whether such buses are carrying any passengers at the time of crossing;
• Common carriers, such as taxis or other vehicles transporting passengers for hire;
• Vehicles transporting flammables, explosives or other dangerous articles as cargo or part of a cargo.
- Buses at a railroad crossing will pull to the right
The School Bus Stop Law
Meeting A School Bus: Any driver meeting a school bus or church bus on which the red stop warning signal lights are flashing should reduce his speed and bring the vehicle to a complete stop while the bus stop signal arm is extended. The vehicle must remain stopped until the stop arm is pulled back and the bus resumes motion.
Overtaking A School Bus: Any driver approaching a school bus or church bus from the rear shall not pass the bus when red stop warning signal lights are flashing. The vehicle must come to a complete stop when the bus is stopped. The vehicle must remain stopped until the stop arm is pulled back and the bus resumes motion.
School Bus Warning Lights: It is illegal to pass a school bus that has stopped to load or unload students. Never pass on the right side of the bus, as this is where the children enter or exit. This is illegal and can have tragic results. You must stop and remain stopped until:
• The bus has started moving, OR • The driver motions for you to proceed, OR
• The visual signals are no longer activated such as the red flashing lights go off and/or the stop arm is pulled back.
- When a school bus is stopped at an intersection to load and unload children, drivers from ALL directions are required to stop until the bus resumes motion (as shown by the red vehicles in the diagram at right)
- It is a Class A misdemeanor and the driver can be fined between $250 and $1,000 for not stopping for a stopped school bus.
- When driving on a highway with separate roadways for traffic in opposite directions, divided by median space or a barrier not suitable for vehicular traffic, the driver need not stop, but should proceed with caution
- A turn lane in the middle of a four-lane highway is NOT considered a barrier, but a fifth lane that is suitable for vehicular traffic.
- Drivers meeting a stopped school bus on this type of road would be required to stop in both directions
Stopping For Police Vehicles

A police officer may be more likely to listen to what you have to say and less likely to feel threatened by you (or your passengers) if you follow these guidelines:
• Drive as closely as is safely practical to the right-hand edge or curb of the road, clear of any intersection, stop and park.
• Limit the movements of the driver and/or passengers while stopping your vehicle.
• Drivers should keep their hands on the steering wheel and passengers should keep their hands in plain view. Drivers should advise officers if they have a handgun permit and if they are armed.
•Provide your driver license and/or vehicle registration when requested.
• Keep all vehicle doors closed and remain in the vehicle unless asked to get out.
• If the stop is made after dark, turn on the vehicle's interior light before the officer approaches
• If enforcement action is taken against you that you disagree with, do not argue with the officer at the scene. Traffic violations and traffic crimes charged against you are decided in court.
• If you find yourself being directed to pull over and stop by someone in an UNMARKED police car, you may drive slowly a short distance to the nearest area where there are other people, such as the next business parking lot or the next exit, if on the interstate. This may be important if traveling at night and/or alone
INTERSECTIONS
Intersections are places where traffic merges or crosses. They include:
• Cross streets,
• Side streets,
• Driveways
• Shopping center or parking lot entrances

- More crashes happen at intersections than at any other place. Intersections constitute a very small part of the rural and urban street/highway systems, yet they are implicated in 29 percent of all motor vehicle crashes and 15 percent of all fatal crashes.
Approaching Intersections Safely


Look: Look both ways as you near an intersection. Before you enter an intersection, continue checking traffic from both the left and right for approaching vehicles and/or crossing pedestrians. Bicycles and motorcycles are smaller and more difficult to see
- "Traffic checks" is the process of looking frequently and carefully for vehicle traffic approaching from each direction
- "Traffic checks" is especially important when merging or changing lanes AND when approaching and crossing intersections
5 things to remember to navigate an intersection safely:
1. The Left-Right-Left Rule: Look first to the left to make sure cross traffic is yielding the right-of-way. Then look for traffic from the right. If stopped, look both left and right just before you start moving. Look across the intersection before you start to move to make sure the path is clear through the intersection.
A. As you enter an intersection, check again for unusual or unexpected actions to the left and right.
B. It is also important to watch for vehicle traffic from the front (oncoming traffic) and rear (approaching/overtaking traffic) of your vehicle at intersections. Be especially aware of vehicles behind you. If the light changes and/or you encounter a vehicle violating the right-of-way that causes you to stop suddenly, will the vehicle behind be able to stop? It is not uncommon for drivers to run red lights or stop signs resulting in a head-on or rear-end collision.
C. Look twice for motorcycles, bicycles and pedestrians.

2. Control Speed: Be prepared to brake or stop unexpectedly at intersections if the above traffic checks alert you to a possible hazard. You should slow down beforereaching the intersection, drive at your slowest speed just before entering the intersection and gradually increase your speed as you cross the intersection.

3.Use Proper Lane: You should be in the proper lane for the direction you intend to travel before you reach the intersection. Do NOT make last minute lane changes as you start through an intersection. Do NOT pass a vehicle in an intersection.

4.Know and obey:
• The proper right-of-way procedures for vehicles and pedestrians at intersections;
• The purpose and meaning of pavement markings;
• The purpose and meaning of traffic signals, including stop or yield signs posted at intersections;
• The proper lane usage and speed at intersections;
• The proper use of your vehicle's turn signals.

5.Do Not Block: Do not move into an intersection and block it after the traffic lights have changed. This is not only common sense, but it's also illegal to block an intersection after the light has changed. Some intersections have signs posted nearby (often hanging next to the traffic light) advising "Do Not Block Intersection." It is always illegal to block an intersection, whether it is marked or not.
Right-of-Way Procedures
- These rules tell who goes first and who must wait in different traffic situations
- However, if another driver does not follow these rules, give him the right-of-way. In all driving situations, think of the right-of-way as something to be given, not taken.
You Must Not Insist On the Right-of-Way:
The law does not really give anyone the right-of-way. It only says who must yield the right-of-way. A driver must do everything possible to avoid a traffic crash.
1. Rules for the most common situations drivers encounter include:
1.Yield to pedestrians crossing the road or your path of travel:
• Pedestrian means any person afoot or using a motorized or non-motorized wheelchair.
• When pedestrians are in a crosswalk (marked or unmarked) or when the pedestrian is upon the half of the roadway upon which your vehicle is traveling or when the pedestrian is approaching so closely from the opposite half of the roadway as to be in danger;
• When in a marked school zone when a warning flasher or flashers are in operation, the driver of a vehicle shall stop to yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within a marked or unmarked crosswalk. The driver shall remain stopped until the pedestrian has crossed the roadway on which the vehicle is stopped.
• When your car is turning a corner and pedestrians are crossing with the light;
• When your vehicle crosses a sidewalk while entering or exiting a driveway, alley or parking lot. It is illegal to drive on a sidewalk except to cross it;
• When a blind or visually impaired pedestrian using a guide dog or carrying a cane, which is white in color or white with red tip, or a hearing impaired person with a dog on a blaze orange leash, is crossing any portion of the roadway, even if not at an intersection or crosswalk. Take special precautions as may be necessary to avoid accident or injury to the pedestrian. Stop at least 10feet away until the person is off the roadway. Do not use your horn, as it could startle the blind pedestrian;
• You must yield to children playing in the streets. In crowded downtown areas and in suburban residential neighborhoods, children play in the streets because there may not be parks or playgrounds nearby. Even though they have been told not to run into the street, children won't always put safety ahead of a runaway puppy or a bouncing ball. Children on bicycles can easily forget to slow down before entering an intersection or to signal and look behind before they turn. You are responsible for driving with extreme caution when children are present. Slow down near schools, playgrounds, and residential areas.
2. Rules for the most common situations drivers encounter include:
2 . Yield to Oncoming Traffic:When meeting other traffic at intersections, or when entering the roadway, make sure the other driver sees you. Make eye contact whenever possible. Drive cautiously and defensively. Be a friendly driver. Remember, the right-of-way is something to be given, not taken.
• When starting from a parked position, wait for all moving traffic to pass.
• When turning left, you must wait for oncoming traffic going straight ahead or turning right.
• When entering a main road from a driveway, alley, parking lot or roadside, you must yield to all vehicles already on the main road. (The blue car in the graphic below must yield the right-of-way.)
• When entering a roundabout, traffic circle or rotary (also known as "town squares"), you must yield to traffic already in the roundabout.
• When approaching a MERGE onto a busy highway or interstate, you must increase or decrease speed as needed to avoid an accident and yield the right-of-way, if necessary, to the oncoming traffic.
• When approaching a fire station, you should yield to any emergency vehicle that is about to back into, or is already in the process of backing into, the driveway entrance to the station.
3. Rules for the most common situations drivers encounter include:
3.Yielding at Intersections: The right-of-way should be determined by each driver before entering an intersection. If you have the right-of-way and another driver yields it to you, proceed immediately. However, YOU must yield the right of-way:
• When oncoming vehicles (including bicycles) are proceeding straight or making a right turn;
• At intersections where YIELD signs are posted, the driver must slow down or stop to avoid a crash with oncoming traffic;
• To any vehicles already in the intersection, even if you have the green traffic light; (The red vehicle in the diagram at right must yield to the green vehicle.) • At "T" intersections where one road dead-ends into another main crossing roadway, the vehicles on the road ending must yield to oncoming traffic from both directions on the main road; • When turning left at intersections, you must yield to any oncoming vehicle proceeding straight or turning right, unless you have a traffic light where your left turn is on a protected green arrow; (The red vehicle in the diagram to the right must yield.)
• At intersections marked as FOUR-WAY or ALL-WAY stops, the vehicle reaching the intersection first gets to go first (of course, ALL vehicles must stop). If more than one vehicle arrives at the same time, yield the right of way to the vehicle on the right;
• Where roads cross and there are no stop signs or signals, yield to any vehicle coming at the same time on your right;
• Do not enter an intersection unless you can get through it without having to stop. You should wait until traffic in front of you clears so that you are not blocking the intersection. If your vehicle is left blocking an intersection (with or without a traffic signal), it prevents other traffic from proceeding and you could be ticketed
4. Rules for the most common situations drivers encounter include:
4. Yield to Emergency Vehicles and Transit Buses
• You must yield the right-of-way to a police vehicle, fire engine, ambulance or other emergency vehicle using a siren, air horn or a red or blue flashing light.
• It is against the law for an unauthorized private vehicle to have a blue flashing emergency light or combination of blue and red flashing emergency lights installed, maintained or visibly shown on the vehicle in any manner.
Following Fire or Other Emergency Vehicles:
* It is against the law to follow a fire truck or other emergency vehicle responding to a fire alarm or other emergency.
- It is also illegal to take your vehicle within the block of where the emergency vehicle has stopped to take care of the emergency. If your car passes an emergency site, do not drive over any unprotected fire department hose unless the fire department official in command says it is okay.

*Tennessee law requires that when an emergency vehicle is approaching, all traffic meeting or being overtaken must yield the right-of-way and immediately drive to a position parallel to, and as close as possible to the right hand edge or curb of the roadway stop.
- You must remain in that stopped position until the emergency vehicle has passed or until you are directed to move by a police officer. You must still proceed with caution; there may be other emergency vehicles coming.

- There are a few other important details about sharing the road with emergency vehicles:
• If you are in an intersection, drive on through the intersection before pulling over, or you may block the emergency vehicle's path through the intersection.
• Do not pull over to the right if it will block a side road or driveway. The emergency vehicle may need to turn into that road or driveway to get to the incident scene.
• If the traffic light is red, stay where you are. If the light turns green before the emergency vehicle has passed, do NOT proceed on green. Wait until the emergency vehicle has passed or turned onto a different street.
• When yielding to emergency vehicles, get in the habit of turning down the volume on the radio (if on) so you can hear any instructions or directions given out over the emergency vehicle's loudspeaker. Your immediate reaction to such directions may be critically needed.
- You must yield the right-of-way to any transit vehicle (metro bus) that has signaled and is pulling back onto the roadway from a bus stop. Generally, this occurs on urban roadways in areas marked by "bus stop" signs or benches. Occasionally, you may encounter cross-country commercial buses signaling to re-enter traffic after allowing passengers to disembark on rural roadways in smaller communities and towns.
A. You are not required to stop for, nor forbidden to pass, transit buses when they are stopped for passenger pick-up or drop-off as you would be for a school bus in the same situation.
B. Be extremely cautious near stopped buses and be watchful for passengers (including elderly individuals and children) attempting to cross the road in these areas.
5. Rules for the most common situations drivers encounter include:
5. Slowing and Yielding to Stationary Vehicles on the Roadside: Tennessee's Move Over Law requires that when approaching any stationary emergency vehicle with lights flashing, you must make a lane change into a lane not adjacent to that of the vehicle, or proceed with caution by reducing the speed of the vehicle and maintaining a safe speed for the current road conditions.This requirement applies only on multi-lane roadways where there are two or more lanes of traffic moving in the same direction and the stationary vehicles are along the roadside in the direction of the driver's travel. You are likely to see the following stationary vehicles using their flashing lights:
• Utility vehicles that provide your electric, phone, natural gas and water services
• Authorized emergency vehicles (police, fire, ambulance or rescue);
• Highway maintenance vehicles (state, county, city or vendor vehicles used for road repair, maintenance or construction);
• Recovery vehicles (tow truck or wrecker).
TURNING
- The most common faults when making turns are
(A) failing to signal
(B) not signaling long enough, (C) failing to search for hazards, (D) turning from the wrong lane
(E) failing to turn properly.
Turning (con't)
*The first rule of turning is to turn from the closest lane in the direction you are traveling to the closest legal lane in the direction you want to go.

- The law says which lanes and positions you must use when turning, and the required signaling distances for such turns.
Signaling a Turn:
You should always use turn signals before:
• Changing lanes or making any movement of your vehicle to the right or left;
• Turning at an intersection or into a driveway, alley or parking lot;
• Entering or exiting the interstate or other controlled access roadway;
• Pulling away from a parked position along the curb;
• Pulling over to the curb or roadside;
• Slowing down or stop your vehicle suddenly.
Hand Signal Tips:
• When you use hand signals, bring your arm in during the actual turn to keep control of the steering wheel.
• During non-daylight hours, hand and arm signals are usually not visible except in well lit areas.
• Hand signals should be used when the sun is shining brightly. This makes your turn signal light harder for other drivers to see easily.
• In heavy traffic, a hand signal may be seen by drivers who are several cars back with an obscured view of your turn signal light.
Electrical Turn Signal Tips:
• Check your vehicle's turn signals often to be sure they are working properly.
• Be sure that your turn signal lights (front and rear) are clean and free from dust, dirt, ice or snow.
• When signaling a stop, lightly pump your brakes a few times to attract attention with your brake lights.
• Be sure to turn off your turn signal light after using it. An unintended signal still means "turn" to the other drivers. By leaving it on, you might tempt other drivers to pull out in front of you.
• At least 50 feet before the turn, you must turn on your turn signal lights.
• Use your turn signals ONLY to indicate when YOU plan to turn or change lanes.
• If you are parked at a curb or roadside and about to re-enter traffic, use a signal long enough to alert oncoming traffic that you are moving from the parked position back into the traffic lane.
• If you plan to turn beyond an intersection, do not signal until you are in the intersection. If you signal earlier, another driver may think you intend to turn at the intersection and might pull into your path.
• Get in the habit of signaling every time you change direction. Signal even if you do not see anyone else around. It is the car you do not see that is the most dangerous.
• When you slow down, your brake lights flash as a signal. Slowing down, itself, acts as a signal
You should NOT use your signals:



***Proper signaling is a key to safe driving. Failure to signal is dangerous and inconsiderate. Communication while driving is a must. Safe drivers are always aware of surrounding conditions and readily communicate their intentions of other drivers by using signals whenever appropriate.
• To signal a driver behind you to come around to pass your vehicle.
• To relay the turn intentions of vehicles ahead of you to those drivers behind your vehicle.
- This is misleading to other drivers. Your brake lights will be sufficient to warn those behind you to slow down.
- If you see someone ahead signaling they are about to turn, do NOT turn on your turn signals unless you also plan to turn.
Making Turns:
- Before making a turn, be sure you can do so safely. Check traffic ahead, behind and to the side. Become familiar with the following Do's and Don'ts:
Making Turns: Dos
• Use your turn signal at least 50 feet before the turn or lane change.
• Make thorough traffic checks, looking behind and on both sides to see where other vehicles are so you can change lanes and make the turn safely. • Move into the correct turn lane as soon as possible. The faster the traffic is moving, the sooner you should move into the proper lane. Go from one lane to the other as directly as possible without crossing lane lines or interfering with the traffic.
• Select the proper gear before entering the intersection, and accelerate slightly through the turn.
• As you turn, make sure to check for pedestrians, cyclists and other traffic. Make the turn correctly, staying in the proper lane and maintaining a safe speed. • Finish the turn in the proper lane. Once you have completed the turn, change to another lane if you need to, and if traffic is clear.
Making Turns: Don't
• Don't turn unless the turn is permitted and can be made safely. Be aware of signs prohibiting right or left turns at certain locations.
• Don't try to turn from the wrong lane. If you aren't in the proper lane, drive to the next intersection and make the turn from the proper lane there. Circle back if necessary. This may take some extra time and miles, but it is the safe thing to do.
• Don't "swing wide" or "cut the corner" when making turns. Don't turn too short so as to cut corners on left turns or run over the curb on right turns. Turning too wide or too late, straddling lanes, or turning into the wrong side of the street will leave you in the wrong lane. Always follow the white lines in intersections using multiple turn lanes.
• Don't turn your wheels in the direction of the turn while waiting for oncoming traffic to pass. If you are hit from the rear while your wheels are turned, the impact can push you into oncoming traffic. Keep your vehicles wheels straight until you begin the turn. Wait until you are sure you can complete the turn before turning the wheels.
• Don't enter the intersection if traffic ahead may keep you from completing the turn before the traffic light changes. Stay behind the stop line or crosswalk until you can fully complete the turn without the risk of blocking the traffic flow.
• Don't brake or depress the clutch while actually turning.
• Don't shift gears in the intersection (If you stall you could cause an accident and/or block the intersection to other traffic).
Left Turns:
- When you meet another driver at an intersection and both of you want to turn left, each will turn to the left of the other.
- Leave from the left lane or as close to the yellow center line as possible and enter in the left lane or as close to the yellow center line as shown in diagram on page 57.
- Study the diagram that shows the five basic steps in making routine left turns from a two-way street onto another two-way street.
From a Two-Way Street on to a Two-Way Street Remember these tips:
• Reduce speed and get into the lane just to the right of the center line well ahead of time.
• Prior to turning, signal your intentions for at least 50 feet and approach the turn with the left side of the vehicle as close to the center line as possible. Failure to signal is dangerous, inconsiderate and illegal. Your signal makes it possible for other cars to complete a turn.
• Look out of your left window for pedestrians and other traffic in your turn path. Yield to any oncoming cars or pedestrians. • Begin the turn when you enter the intersection. Keep the wheels straight until you can turn; turn just before the imaginary center point in the intersection. Drive just to the right of the center line of the street you're entering and be sure to turn into the first lane past the center line. This avoids conflict with other traffic making either right or left turns. Never turn "wide" into the right lane. The right lane will be used by any oncoming vehicles turning right.
• If the intersection has a lane signed or marked for making left turns, do not make this turn from any other lane. At some intersections, you may make turns from more than one lane. Signs and pavement markings will tell you if this is allowed. If there are multiple lanes, keep your vehicle in the lane you start from throughout the turn. Be alert for signs that may also PROHIBIT left turns at some intersections.
• Pay close attention to the traffic light cycle. If the light turns yellow while you are waiting for oncoming vehicles to clear the intersection, DO NOT proceed into the intersection.
From a Two-Way Street on to a One-Way Street
Keep in mind the following differences when turning on one-way streets:
• When making left-hand turns, be alert for "one-way" street signs on traffic lights, posts and stop signs.
• Center lines on two-way streets are yellow.
• Center lines on one-way streets are white.
• In preparing to turn, make the proper "two-way" approach next to the center line.
• Turn sharply into the FIRST lane. Remember, you are turning onto a one-way street, so both lanes will be traveling in the same direction. You should turn into the first lane closest to the left curb.
From A One-Way Street Onto A One-Way Street
• Make your approach in the traffic lane furthermost to the left curb of the street.
• Turn sharply into the first lane on the left side of the one-way street. DO NOT TURN WIDE.
- At intersections that are not marked for "No Turns on Red," you may make a left turn on red when turning from a one-way street onto a one-way street.
- You must come to a complete stop at the light prior to making the turn, the same as right turns on red.
From A One-Way Street Onto a Two-Way Street
• Make your approach in the traffic lane furthermost to the left curb of the street.
• Do not start your turn at the crosswalk. Drive into the intersection and then turn sharply into the first lane to the right of the yellow line on the two-way street.
• If the two-way street has multiple lanes, you may move into the right lane ONLY AFTER giving the proper turn signal and checking traffic to your right.
• You CANNOT make this left turn on a red light.
Notes on Multiple Turn Lanes
• A vehicle in the second lane can make the same turn as a vehicle in the first lane only when a lane use control sign or marking permits it.
• You will often see white channel lines and arrows on the pavement. These lines help direct you into the correct lane while turning.
Right Turns
- Making right turns can be just as dangerous as left turns.

• Well ahead of the turning point, check for traffic behind and beside your vehicle. Get as close as is practical to the right curb or road edge without interfering with pedestrians, bicyclists or parked vehicles.
• Give a signal for a right turn for at least 50 feet.
• Before starting to turn, look to the left and right for cross traffic on the intersecting street and oncoming traffic that may also be turning. Always check for pedestrians and bicyclists before turning. Remember to yield the right-of way, if necessary.
• Move your vehicle around the corner and into the travel lane closest to the right curb.
Turn Warning: Trucks and Buses Turning Right
- When driving in city traffic, pay special attention to the turn signals of large trucks and buses
- Large trucks and buses MUST make wide turns.
- Sometimes they must leave an open space to the right just before the turn.
- To avoid an accident, do not pass a truck on the right if there is a possibility that it might make a right turn.
Turns Permitted on Red


*Tennessee law allows a right turn on red and left turns on red at certain one-way to oneway intersections, unless otherwise posted.
• When making a right turn at a red light, you must first come to a complete stop before reaching the marked or unmarked crosswalk or stop line. Always yield the right of-way to oncoming traffic, pedestrians and bicyclists .
• A left turn at a red light or stop signal is permitted at all intersections where a one-way street intersects with another one-way street and the traffic is moving in the same direction into which the left turn would be made. The same rules for complete stops, yielding, and observing signs prohibiting turns must be followed as you would for a right turn on red
Special Turns: Roundabouts
- A roundabout is an intersection control device with traffic circulating around a central island.
- These traffic circles are usually used to discourage drivers from using neighborhood streets for commuting thoroughfares, to slow speeds and to reduce accidents.
- Many Tennessee towns have a form of roundabout that is known as the "town square."

• Always travel around a roundabout to the right, in a counter-clockwise direction.
• On approaching the roundabout, stay in your lane and to the right of the splitter island or yellow pavement markings/curbs directing traffic to the right. These islands are used to prevent vehicles from attempting to travel left around the circle.
• Upon reaching the roundabout, yield to vehicles already within the circulating traffic. Observe the standard rightof-way procedures as with regular intersections controlled by yield signs. Enter the roundabout when there is a gap in traffic and once inside do not stop unless directed to do so by signs, signals or a traffic officer. • Within the roundabout, proceed at a slower speed (usually posted at 15 to 25 m.p.h.). Exit the roundabout at any street or continue around again if you miss the street on which you wanted to turn.
• In a multi-lane roundabout, do not overtake or pass any vehicles. Remember the roundabout is a low speed traffic control device. Be prepared to yield to vehicles turning in front of you from the inside lane to exit the roundabout.
• Exit the roundabout carefully. Always indicate your exit using your right turn signal. Watch for pedestrians in or approaching the crosswalk on the street you are exiting and yield the right-of-way if necessary
Special Turns: U-Turns
- A U-turn is a turn within the road, made in one smooth u-shaped motion, so as to end up with your vehicle traveling in the opposite/reverse direction as before the turn.
- Some towns and cities do not allow U-turns on streets and roadways under their control. Check with local police to be sure.
You may NOT make a U-turn:
• At any intersection where a traffic light or police officer is controlling the traffic flow.
• At any rural or urban location where you cannot see traffic coming from both directions for at least 500 feet in each direction.
• At any location where U-turns are prohibited by official signs or markings.
• Between intersections in a city. The safest thing to do is drive around the block.
• At or near a curve or the crest of a hill when the driver cannot see 500 feet or more in each direction. Improper turns are a major contributor to traffic crashes.
• It is illegal in Tennessee for any driver to make a U-turn on an interstate highway. Emergency crossovers are for the use of emergency vehicles and highway maintenance crews only. It is extremely dangerous and illegal to use them to "turn around" in the event you missed an exit or are in a traffic jam. Drive on to the next exit ramp. Do not cut across the median strip, as this maneuver is also illegal
TRAFFIC LANES AND LANE USAGE
- A traffic lane is a part of a roadway wide enough for a car or a single line of vehicles to travel safely.
- Most lanes on hard- surfaced roads are marked with white or yellow pavement line markings. -On dirt or gravel roads, some rural roads, private drives and other roadways (such as parking lot rows and shopping center perimeter roads), the lanes may not be marked, but they are there anyway.
-When driving on a road without any center line markings, and where vehicles are coming from each direction, drivers must give others going in the opposite direction at least half the road.
Overview of Lane Usage: "White on your right, yellow on your left"
- This simple statement sums up the principle of "right hand traffic" under which all traffic must move on American roadways
- If you ever find yourself driving with the yellow line on to your right, pull over immediately.
- You are driving on the wrong side of the road!
- Always drive on the right side of a two-lane highway except when passing.
- If the road has four or more lanes with two-way traffic, drive in the right lanes except when passing other vehicles or turning left.
- The center lane of a two-way, three-lane or five-lane highway is used only for turning left.
Keeping Right- Drive on the right of the road except when:
• Passing another vehicle going in the same direction as your vehicle;
• Driving to the left of center to pass an obstruction in the road. Whenever possible, always drive around obstructions or crashes to the right side to avoid the possibility of becoming involved in a head-on collision;
• A road is marked for one way traffic;
• You are turning left.
Two Lanes:
Two-lane highways have a single broken yellow center line. You should always drive to the right of the center line, except to safely pass another vehicle
Four Lanes:
A four-lane (or more) highway is divided in half by two solid yellow lines in the center. The two lanes on each side are divided by a dashed white line. Drive in the extreme right lane except when passing another vehicle or making a left turn.
One Way:
A one-way highway is generally composed of two or more lanes restricted to moving in one direction. There should not be any vehicles traveling in the opposite direction on these roads
Divided Highways:
Divided highways have two-way traffic, but the roads for each direction are divided by a median or barrier. Always use the road on the right when driving on a divided highway, such as an interstate, unless directed to do otherwise. Do not drive within, across or over any median strip or barrier separating these roadways. It is only allowed at an authorized crossover or intersection, or when you are officially directed to do so. (Yellow sign with squiggly arrow pointing up and a squiggly arrow pointing down with a shaded in U in the middle)
- On a divided four-lane highway, when using a designated crossover for a left turn (or a U-turn where permitted), treat the crossover/opening the same as a cross street by keeping to the right side of the crossover paved area

A .If a vehicle is already in the crossover waiting for traffic to clear, remain stopped in the left most lane of the four-lane highway with your turn signal on until the waiting vehicle has cleared the crossover.
B .DO NOT "swing" into the left side of the crossover or "bunch-up" behind the waiting car. This creates a dangerous situation for any vehicle attempting to use the crossover for a left turn coming from the opposite direction.
• It leaves your vehicle with its rear-end partially sticking out in the left traffic lane. In this position, approaching vehicles coming upon your car are less likely to notice your turn signal than if your vehicle was fully stopped in the left lane.
• It places your car on the wrong side of the road in the crossover and could cause a head-on collision with a vehicle attempting to turn left in the crossover from the opposite direction.

*Remember, such a crossover is PERMITTED ONLY at paved openings provided on four-lane highways. There are NO crossovers provided for traffic on interstates.

- Red reflectors always mean you are facing traffic the wrong way and could have a head-on collision.
Dual Use Lanes:
These have both a turn arrow and a straight arrow. You can proceed straight or make the indicated turn from these lanes as shown by the pavement markings and/or signs found at the intersection. Unless the intersection has a protected arrow for turning, you must follow the standard right of-way rules.
Shared Center Turn/Two-Way Left Turn Lane:
These center lanes are reserved for vehicles making left turns in either direction from or into the roadway. These lanes cannot be used for passing and cannot be used for travel farther than 300 feet. On the pavement, left turn arrows for traffic in one direction alternate with left turn arrows for traffic coming from the other direction. These lanes are marked on each side by solid yellow and broken yellow lines. Enter the shared lane only when safe to do so.

- If a special lane has been provided for making left turns, do not make a left turn from any other lane.
- Enter the shared center turn lane just before you want to make the turn.
- If you enter too soon, you may interfere with another driver's use of the lane.
- Wait in the special lane until traffic clears enough to allow you to complete the desired left turn.
- Do NOT travel in the center turn lane to access a left turn lane at an intersection
- You may turn from a side street or driveway into a shared center turn lane, stop, and wait for traffic to clear before merging into traffic in the lane immediately to the right.
- Make sure the center turn lane is clear in both directions and then turn into the lane when it is safe.
- Be sure to give the proper signal while waiting to move into the right lane and also when moving out of the turn lane back into the right lane of traffic.
- If another vehicle is already in the turn lane coming from the other direction, you may NOT enter if it will interfere with the other vehicle's intended turn. - - When vehicles enter the turn lane from opposite directions, the first vehicle to enter the lane has the right-of-way.