Driving is a simple but complicated matter. While that may sound conflicting, it is actually easy to understand why. The act of driving itself is simple and often times intuitive. On the other hand, the driving laws that you need to know before getting on the road make becoming a driver more complex. If you wish to avoid any run-ins with the law, then it is a must to avoid breaking it.
At their very core, driving laws and traffic laws are made to stimulate order on the road. Without these laws, drivers would carelessly zoom around drivers on streets. Aside from keeping peace and order on the road, these laws also promote safety for the drivers, their passengers, and the pedestrians on the street. There are many laws worth noting, and while some states have their own set of rules to abide by, there are common laws found from coast-to-coast. Here are some of the common laws of the road that you need to know.
DUI or driving under the influence means operating a vehicle while intoxicated. Once a cop pulls you over under the suspicion of a DUI, you’ll be given a breathalyzer test. The legal limit of blood alcohol is 0.8% in all states including the District of Columbia. If you go above the legal limit, then you will be taken into custody and your car will be towed.
There are many penalties for being caught with a DUI. Some drivers have their licenses suspended, while others get theirs completely revoked. Aside from that, offenders also get fined for about $500-$1000 for their first offense. Other penalties include being forced to do community service and jail time. Repeat offenders get an increasing amount of penalties. Worst case scenario, you may never be allowed to drive again. If you are intoxicated, it’s best to call a cab or take an Uber to get home. If you are out with a group, just make someone the designated driver for the night.
Breaking the Speed Limit
Breaking the speed limit is the most common driving offense. To keep the roads safe, all drivable areas in the U.S. have a set speed limit. The maximum speed in each state will vary depending on where you are. On rural two-lane roads, the limit ranges from 50 to 75 mph. On Interstate Highways and several other freeways, the speed limit is at 60 to 85 mph. Although all major roads have speed limits, there aren’t always signs readily available. Generally, you always want to drive the speed of traffic.
Traffic police have the proper equipment to detect the speed at which you are going. If you are caught breaking the speed limit, chances are you are going to receive a hefty ticket under your name. Aside from an increasing amount of fines, repeat offenders could also get their licenses suspended.
Seat Belt Use
Time and time again, it has been proven that seat belts can save lives. There’s a reason why car manufacturers are required to add this age-old equipment even in their most recent models. 49 states along with the District of Columbia have laws that require all occupants of the front seat to wear a seat belt. Some of the states require even those in the backseat to wear it as well. In most of the states, the seat belt law is treated as a secondary offense only. This means you can only be ticketed if you are stopped on the road for other reasons. Despite being light, you should always keep your seat belts on as this law is intended to keep you safe in the case of an accident.
Driving Without A License
This is a common law worldwide. You must always bring your driver’s license with you, especially when you are on the road. If you are caught driving without a license, even if you are a great driver on the road, you are going to get a ticket and a fine. In the U.S., there is a difference between driving without a license and driving without proof of licensing. The former is for those who have never been issued a license before. The latter is for people who left their license someplace else.
Aside from laws you as a driver must follow, you must also guarantee that your car is up to the standards of the regulations as well. There’s a reason why car manufacturers take the time and effort to add in bumpers and headlights to cars, and that’s to keep you and everyone else around you safe. In all states, the law requires a car to have equipment such as brakes, turn signals, mirrors, windshields, and headlights installed. These are not all of the features that officers are going to look for. If your vehicle does not have a seat belt or has a malfunctioning seat belt, then you will be placed with a fine. Make sure that all of the necessary equipment in your car is in good condition. If it is already in a point of no return, just have it sold for extra cash and buy a new one.
Not Securing Child Passengers In A Safety Seat
Seat belts are not always effective especially if the passenger using it is a small child. Child seats for cars are crucial as they provide kids with the proper safety measures they need while you are driving on the road. If you fail to provide this security, then you are breaking yet another common law. If you are stopped by an officer and your child is not properly secured in the back or front of your car, then prepare to face a ticket. You’ll be getting a fine for this and if you are a repeat offender, the amount you’ll pay will increase. You’ll eventually get your license suspended if you keep things up. Your passengers, especially children, should be your top priority at all times.
When you are on the road, you must always maintain a safe distance between your car and the one in front of you. If you are driving too close, it may result in a fender bender that would ultimately be your fault. Tailgating is a punishable offense in the U.S.Ideally, you want to keep the car ahead of you for a few seconds or so. To be safe, you can always stay as many car widths away as how many 10mph you are going. For example, if you are driving 40mph, having 3-4 car lengths between you and the other driver is the safest bet. This law is commonly broken as people tend to forget that it is an offense. Now that you know of it, make sure to give the back of cars some space.
Using A Cellphone While Driving
This law is relatively new but is very important. A lot of accidents today are caused by careless drivers who text or call using their cellphones while driving. The hazards in this should be very obvious. You must keep your eyes on the road at all times to maintain the security of those around you. If you really have an urgent emergency call to make, just pull over at the next stop instead of violating this law.
Traffic Laws: Driving Rules and Regulations
These traffic and driving laws were made to maintain order and security on U.S. roads. If you aren’t going to follow these laws to a T, then you should just sell your car and consider relying on other means of transportation. Car not running, is old, or is just taking up space? You can still sell it by filling out this simple offer form.