Nashville Traffic Woes

Dealing with the Slowpokes

Library of Congress
Whether you are visiting Nashville or you already live here, you will find that Nashville Traffic can be horrific, especially during Rush Hour.

Nashville traffic is legendary; Robert Altman's classic drama Nashville opens the film with a legendary Nashville Traffic Jam, The musical group "The Bellyachers" even has a road song called "We Blamed Nashville" and there is even a musical group called Traffic Jam that Features three female singers from Nashville.

Now that's Legendary!These legendary traffic problems are directly linked to Nashville's Demographics and Local Driving Styles.

There are three major Interstates merging to a point at the Cumberland River, in the downtown area. One accident can instantly gridlock over 30% of the commuters and three accidents can gridlock the entire city within a matter of minutes.

While there's nothing that can be done about the demographics, the various driving styles of our locals are a major contributor to Nashville's Interstate congestion and leave a lot to be desired, no offense intended (I'm a local, too).

There seem to be unwritten guidelines to follow when driving Nashville's Highways and Byways.

These guidelines, as best as I can tell, are as follows:

  1. Braking on the Interstate for no apparent need, other than to look out your window at the passing scenery is normal.

  2. The Speed Limit Signs are there so everyone knows the minimum speed of which to travel and the maximum would be ten miles over that, but not to exceed twelve, because that would mean actually going to traffic court.

  1. Any merge lane is there to provide drivers with an entertaining game of Chicken.

  2. Never ever use your turnsignal; it gives other drivers the insider's advantage in blocking your lane change.

  3. All Brake lights are optional, actually all lights are optional.

  4. Solid lines in the road are there because Tennessee Department of Transportation had excess funding last year and could paint a solid line instead of dotted lines.

  1. It's all right to pass on the shoulder if you are late for work or any other reason for that matter.

  2. If you are pregnant, you can justify using the HOV lanes to the policeman that stops you.

  3. That extra space a semi-truck driver gives is made for cutting him off with, besides if they hit you in the tail end; it's their fault, right.

  4. And finally, driving in the left lane is OK even if you're driving 25mph and especially on a flat.

Now that we know the Nashville's Driver Guidelines, let's go over some tips and rules of survival. By using a few of these tips it will make your commute easier and definitely less stressful.


  • Get a Map from the Tennessee Department of Transportation.
    it's free and you can learn the ins and outs of the back roads in Nashville to avoid Traffic Congestion
  • View Your Local Nashville Traffic Cameras
    they are located all over the city at the traffic hotspots.
  • Check for Interstate Construction Sites
    Find out where the construction is and avoid it at all cost.
  • Find out what the Tennessee Road Conditions Are.
    Bad driving weather in Nashville is a whole other story; stay home if possible.
    More Information
  • Take A Bus with the local Bus system,
    Metro Transit Authority.
    More Information
  • Before heading out the Door, Get a traffic report from your favorite media resources.
    More Information