It may stand to reason that those who travel as passengers in vehicles in Tennessee likely already have an established relationship with their drivers. This implies an inherent trust between the two, with the passenger probably not feeling concerned about the driver’s ability to keep them safe.
Sadly, drivers do not always deliver on that expectation (whether due to inexperience, negligence or incompetence). In any event, the consequences of their actions often have long-lasting (and often catastrophic) ramifications and their family and friends.
Two killed in Gatlinburg collision
This fact was on full display in a recent accident that occurred on Wiley Oakley Drive in Gatlinburg. Per the local CBS News affiliate, both occupants of the vehicle involved (two young adults from Georgia) died in the collision. Law enforcement authorities state that the driver lost control of the vehicle while approaching a curb, The vehicle ultimately hit an embankment and overturned. Reports indicate that neither occupant had a seat belt on at the time of the accident.
Responsibility for passenger safety
Cases such as this raise a common question related to motor vehicle safety: whose responsibility is it to ensure that passengers wear their restraints? If the passenger is a minor, then it goes without saying that the adult driver must ensure they fasten their seatbelt. But when the passenger is an adult (who presumably understands the wisdom inherent in wearing their seat belt). In such a case, the passenger typically assumes that responsibility (with the driver then only owning the responsibility for their own actions).
Regardless of seat belt usage, passengers may often be in the unenviable position of having to hold their drivers (who often may be friends or family members) liable for their accident injuries. Such liability may need to come in the form of a lawsuit.