Driving is one of the most dangerous things to do. However, if many people were questioned, they would reply that they are genuinely safe drivers. But is that how the law perceives it?
Whatever the answer is, you’d agree with us that one of the most significant issues most drivers face is not the inability to maneuver a car properly, but rather the urge to break road rules. According to Carsnewscafe, at least one out of four drivers will break a traffic rule every time they are on the highway. With such a significant fraction of people breaking road rules every day, the number of road accidents, especially on highways, keeps going on the rise every year according to the NHTSA.
Of course, every driver wants to be careful while driving to avoid getting a ticket for violating a traffic rule, but that can work properly if motorists are aware of all the traffic rules in their state and even the neighboring ones. But even with such knowledge, there are some stubborn drivers who prefer to be on the wrong side of the law, anyway.
Some of you might be part of this “stubborn drivers list.” And how would you know? By reading this article. We have listed 25 road rules that most of us choose to ignore, but the law takes them very seriously. So read on.
25 Driving With Pets
There are road rules that state that motorists shouldn’t drive with pets like dogs in the car. However, this one depends on what state you reside in. Independent reported that it’s not ok for drivers to have a dog sitting on their lap in the front seat while they are driving in two states.
As for the other states in the US, motorists are strongly advised against the act. Some states in the US don’t have it as a clear law, but it’s an implicit traffic rule that people should follow.
24 Ignoring Entrance and Exit Only Signs
If you are a person with a profound eye for details, you’ll notice that some parking lots have one way in and one way out while others have a dedicated exit and entrance. Whatever the case, there’s usually a road sign that indicates the path to enter and exit.
Ranker reported that most motorists tend to notice the sign after they have broken the law. Even though it seems like one of those road rules you should ignore, it’s necessary to take it seriously to avoid disrupting order.
23 Using Fog Lights Often
First off, there is a reason why they're called fog lights. The name of the light indicates its function; motorists are meant to use it in a situation where visibility is compromised.
According to The state, motorists should use the fog lights when they have issues with seeing objects a couple of hundred feet away as a result of environmental factors. When there’s no visibility issue, and you use your fog lights, it reduces the visibility of other motorists which is a hazard.
22 Failure to Give Bicyclists Space
As a motorist, it’s necessary to put bicyclists into consideration. No doubt, it could be difficult to see them as they move fast, occupy little space and they could cause some problems for motorists at times. And according to LA Weekly, lots of motorists are not fond of driving next to cyclists.
In 2014, a rule was passed in California that requires motorists to leave at least three feet of space when they’re passing cyclists. In other states, similar bills have been moved to avoid accidents and fatalities. Nola also reported that the enforcers of this one haven’t cracked down on motorists – which is the reason why a lot of drivers tend to ignore it.
21 Ignoring Stop Signs
A stop sign is an excellent example of signs that tell drivers what to do directly. When a driver sees an octagon shaped sign that’s red and reads stop, all they need to do is to stop completely. As plain and direct as this instruction seems, a lot of drivers feel that the sign isn’t for them.
According to The State, some motorists do it on purpose because they slow down, but never come to a halt. The action is referred to as rolling stops, which is illegal.
20 Getting Distracted While Driving
It’s only natural to get distracted while driving since life offers a lot to carry our minds away, but as motorists, it’s necessary to cut down on distractions as much as possible. For instance, Washington Post reported that it’s not ok to use handheld devices while driving in the US.
Other forms of distraction while driving are looking at maps, eating, hugging a passenger, or arguing. The powers that be see violators as hazardous. Why? Because a distracted driver poses an epidemic on the roads today.
19 Leaving Your Engine to Run Unattended
Some motorists who live in areas with cold climate are fond of running their engine first thing in the morning. The reason behind this is to generate some heat and warm up the vehicle. Some other motorists do this with the aid of their phone, thanks to this weird thing we call technology.
Regardless of how the engine of a car is started, it doesn’t change that the law in some states frowns at drivers for leaving their engine to run unattended. According to The State, some motorists disagree with the fact that this helps to protect the environment.
18 Driving With a Cracked Windshield
Many motorists believe this is actually irrelevant, but on second thought, there’s a reason why it’s a rule in the first place. YourMechanic stated that when a motorist drives around with a cracked windshield, two things happen: the visibility of the driver is distorted, and the crack gets worse.
No doubt, this varies in different states, but most states find it illegal to drive around with a cracked windshield. Not only does it conceal your sight, but it also puts other motorists at risk.
17 Refusing To Pull Over For Emergency Vehicles
If a motorist can be alert at any form of distraction while driving behind the wheels, there’s a high possibility that the person would also hear a siren. It’s evident that emergencies occur all the time and they are usually accompanied by ambulances, fire trucks, or police cars speeding through traffic.
In cases like this, it’s best to pull over to the side to allow the emergency vehicle to go through. And if you don’t you might just get fined. Also, breaking this comes with two implications: you delay the car, and reduce the chances of saving a life.
It’s funny how many drivers take some fundamental road rules for granted, knowing for a fact that violation of these could endanger their lives and the lives of other innocent motorists or passersby. One of such is taking illegal U-Turns.
The sign with a U-turn arrow and a red slash passing through it is a simple signboard we see at road junctions. The “No U-Turn” sign helps motorists avert any form of accidents. Nevertheless, many drivers are willing to take the risk and face the outcome. According to AxleAddict, some drivers do it as a show-off to the lady righting shotgun.
15 Converting the Left Lane to a Slow Lane
It’s illegal for motorists to convert the left lane to a slow lane on the highway. According to a report stated by Drivers Ed, the law says that the far-left lane is a fast lane. What this means is that the left lane is for those that drive faster while the right lane fits tortoises and James May.
Most motorists find it difficult to obey this, but there’s a reason why it’s a rule in the first place. Driving slow on the left lane makes driving frustrating for speed demons, and it could result in an accident.
14 Crossing the Double White Lines
There are different lines on the road, and they are not for decoration. Each of the tracks on the road signifies something – which you must know as a motorist. One of these lines is the double white lines. According to a report from the Bellingham Herald, it’s not ok for a driver to cross the double white lines.
Double white lines are usually located on highways and they are used to divide the carpool lane. The double lines are meant to prevent motorists from changing lanes when they want.
13 Right Of Way Errors
As a motorist, you may have reached a four-way stop intersection and thought about who should go first at some point. In such periods, the right of way is questioned. If you find yourself in such circumstances like this, the best thing to do, intuitively, is drive defensively.
Apart from the fact that it’s against the law to ignore a pedestrian trying to cross the road by not stopping your car, it’s wrong to fight over such a minor thing, even in a case where you have the right of way. According to AxleAddict, breaking this increases the risk of harming innocent bystanders.
12 Driving For Conditions
When the road gets icy during winter, the police usually have a number of wrecks to handle. The rain is no exception because wrecks occur as well. In a case where the sun shines too bright, it causes distracting flares and results in accidents too.
In other words, for every climate condition, there’s a tendency of having wrecks. As a result, some rules instruct drivers on what is considered safe in times like this. You may be breaking a road rule if you speed in bad weather for instance.
11 Using Unsuitable Bumper Stickers
It’s normal for people to use bumper stickers to personalize their rides. It seems like a way of expressing who the car owner is without uttering a word. Even though motorists can choose to customize their cars as they wish, the powers that be frown at people that are offensive, vulgar, or rude to others.
According to The State, California has a road rule that fines motorists $200 for inappropriate bumper stickers on their vehicles. So for those trying to be funny, it can result in a not so funny fine.
10 Earbuds in Both Ears While Driving
It’s illegal to have earbuds in both ears while driving, but some states take it more serious than others. Most states consider the act illegal because it poses as a form of distraction while driving. The penalty for breaking this rule is paying a stipulated fine from $200 to $500 depending on the particular state—but that hasn’t stopped motorists from violating the rule.
According to a report from LA weekly, most drivers feel they could get away with using earbuds in both ears since the law permits hands-free devices.
Breaking Curfews and Local laws of a State is a traffic rule that is violated on a daily basis. Most times most drivers tend to break these rules on the argument that they aren’t made known to all. According to the Chicago Tribune, some of the local authorities’ setup local speed traps in certain areas, hoping visitors and ignorant residents are unaware of them.
In such cases, you’d have to familiarize yourself with the local traffic rules of the region to avoid paying unnecessary fines.
8 Putting GPS Systems on Windshields
This one is entirely unknown to many motorists for the simple reason of who would believe that installing GPS systems on windshields can raise an eyebrow. Thus, it comes as a big surprise to the few drivers who know about it.
According to GPSTracklog, it’s entirely not ok to install a GPS on a car’s windshield in 28 states in the US. The older GPS systems we’ve known in the past rest on the dashboard of a vehicle, and auto manufacturers of late have preferred to keep it that way.
7 Ignoring the Slippery When Wet Sign
The “Slippery When Wet” sign isn’t familiar to many drivers because they are hardly used. The warning only comes in handy when there is a significant weather issue in a particular area. For instance, when there is recent heavy rainfall in a specific area, there’s likely to be some slippage to deal with, so the sign is placed beforehand to warn oncoming motorists to reduce their speed and to be cautious.
According to Ranker Points, a motorist is obligated to adhere conscientiously to the sign or else prepare to receive a ticket from the cops.
6 Parking In Handicapped Spaces with No Permit
Some motorists like to park at parking spaces reserved for the disabled because they believe this is the best spot. Why? Because they’re closest to the place of operation or business, where the driver is headed. If at all a motorist must use the handicapped parking space, it should be with a permit.
However, some motorists choose to break this traffic rule and deprive physically challenged individuals of the parking space meant for them. According to a report from Athens News, some of the areas for handicap parking are badly marked which creates some confusion sometimes.
5 Driving Without a License or Auto Insurance
Have the police ever stopped you for some other reason, and you remembered that your driver’s license is expired? Or have you driven without your insurance in your car?
No doubt, some of us have temporary lapses in this area, but it’s necessary to know that you’d be violating this if you drive without a license, an expired license, or no insurance. According to AxleAddict, a lot of motorists fall victim to driving with an expired license or no license at all and expired insurance.
4 Questionable Maneuvers in a Vehicle
Even if we are oblivious to some road rules, it’s necessary to follow them to avert any casualties. Illegal maneuvers in a vehicle are one of those things that seem like fun, but the outcome is usually most times, not fun at all. According to AxleAddict, it’s stressed out drivers and inexperienced drivers that fall victim of making illegal U-turns.
Sometimes, inexperienced drivers make these illegal maneuvers as a way of showing off their driving skills by pushing an automobile that’s over 1,800 pounds above its limit.
3 Failure to Halt For a School Bus
As a driver, it’s important to keep in mind that you’re sharing the road with public transport. This includes the trains, buses, and trolleys.
Expat Aussie gave a report about New Jersey’s law that states that there should be 25 feet of space between a vehicle and bus, when the bus comes to a halt. If a driver chooses to drive around the bus instead of remaining parked behind the bus when it stops, he will be breaking the law.
2 Using Excess Window Tint
Having a window tint is, no doubt, one great way of transforming your dud car into a stud. Apart from the fact that a window tint improves the shading within a car, it gives motorists the privacy they require. But when it’s too dark, it could be difficult for other drivers and cops to see through the car.
The law isn’t against using tinted windows, it’s only against a window tint that’s above the stated percentage. According to The State, each state permits a specific Visible Light Transmission percentage for each car window.
1 Driving with a Broken or Missing Horn
Horns are installed in cars to warn other motorists and people on foot from possible hazards. That makes it dangerous to drive a vehicle with a broken horn. According to AxleAddict, cars with broken horns contributed to about 20 percent of road accidents that occurred last year.
We thus don’t have to spell it out that it’s a grave offense to drive a car around without a working horn. But, why do many drivers ignore it? Well, a majority of these drivers believe this problem is so negligible, since they can exert a little bit of road rage and get people off the road when they want to.
Sources: The State, AxleAddict, Your Mechanic, Washington Post