• Sharon Winter

Buckle Up Buttercup!


RightLane boarded the Distracted Driving Bus again this year to cruise around Nashville with the Tennessee Highway Patrol and friends identifying distracted drivers. We were reminded by state dignitaries before we left that distracted driving is perhaps contributing to 25-30% of the approximate 1,000 fatalities each year in the state. It’s an underreported figure, because honestly, who admits they were looking at their phone moments before they drove into the rock wall.


As we merged onto I-40, practically every driver was on their phone. Many were talking on it, but some had it down in their laps (we see you—we’re up high on a bus) and some had it up in the air scrolling the screen at 70+ miles per hour. But what astounded us the most on the bus today was the number of motorists not wearing seat belts. Every type of motorist from white work vans to Toyotas to 18 wheelers. Not buckled.

I was shocked. As a defensive driving instructor, I always ask who does not wear their seatbelt and I have about 1 every 25 people who say they occasionally do not. Uhhh, s’cuse me. That must be another underreported figure. The “unbuckled” hurtling through Nashville traffic today was overwhelming.

I won’t preach but I will quote the Vanderbilt trauma staff today, including a surgeon, who confirmed that they treat those unbuckled motorists every day. Why are their injuries worse? Ejection from the vehicle. He has a patient now that was not buckled and ejected through the sunroof.

Buckle up Buttercup. Your family wants you home safe and in one piece today and every day.


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