Sometimes even the safest drivers cross the line between legal and illegal driving. While there are a lot of traffic laws that most people agree need to be followed at all times (like stopping at a red light), there are others that are broken by seemingly everyone. When you’re in a hurry, it can be tempting to push the limits of what’s legal, but it’s important to remember that these laws exist for your safety and the safety of others.
Many people seem to take speed limits as “suggestions” and may get frustrated when the car in front of them is actually going the correct speed. When you’re running late, going 30 mph can feel like 10 mph, but you’ll be even later if you get pulled over.
Conversely, driving too slowly can also be dangerous, especially on the highway. Not all states have speed minimums, but if you live in a state that does, it’s important to make sure that you are at least going the minimum, when possible.
2. Rolling through stop signs
Running a stop sign is a terrible idea because it’s extremely dangerous (not to mention illegal). Although most people are aware of that, some consistently roll though stop signs. Taking a quick look around then rolling through a stop sign when you think the coast is clear can seem like a good idea. Take the time it takes. Observe the intersection closely. Accidents occur frequently because of inattention. Rolling a stop sign can turn into an expensive mistake.
3. Failure to stop for pedestrians
This happens too frequently. It almost seems that people aren’t even aware that pedestrians usually have the right-of-way. If pedestrians are waiting to cross at a crosswalk, you must wait for them to cross before you drive.
4. Failure to signal
Turn signals are an important means of communication we have with other drivers. They allow other drivers to know they need to slow down and give you room to change lanes or know which way you’re going to turn. Signal your intent long before you take action. Flipping on your turn signal while you’re in the middle of changing lanes or once you’ve already started turning is not sufficient notice to other drivers.
5. Illegal turns
Always be aware of your state’s laws regarding U-turns. Some states allow U-turns while others don’t. Pay attention to all posted signs, as there may be some areas where they aren’t permitted. Also look for signs at traffic lights, because right turns on red may be prohibited at some intersections.
6. Texting while driving
With varying degrees of restrictions, it is illegal to text and drive in almost every state in the U.S. Many states also have other laws regarding distracted driving, such as only talking on the phone using a hands-free device. Always be aware of the laws in your state regarding texting and hands-free devices. However, even if there are no laws against texting while driving, it is still a safety risk.
When you’re in a rush, traffic laws can feel like an inconvenience, but they are designed to keep you and everyone else safe.