There are a lot of “rules of the road” in the United States: wear a seatbelt, yield to pedestrians, don’t text and drive, don’t drink and drive, don’t change lanes in an intersection, watch for motorcycles, etc.
Some of these are guidelines on how to drive safely, and some of these are actual traffic laws. Often, failing to follow the safety guidelines can lead to breaking traffic laws. Read on to learn more about the most commonly broken traffic laws.
- Not Wearing a Seatbelt
49 states have some sort of seat belt law (New Hampshire is the only exception), which means that almost everywhere you drive, you are required to buckle up. The laws vary from state to state, often depending on age and seat placement in a vehicle.
The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) places the seat belt usage rate at 90.1%, which means most Americans comply. Still, that leaves approximately 27.5 million people who are not buckling up while on the road, despite the common knowledge that not wearing a seatbelt has potentially fatal consequences.
- Texting While Driving
All 50 states have enacted laws against distracted driving, often specifically stating the use of hand-held mobile/electronic/wireless devices. The language varies, but essentially all state governments and the federal government recognize the dangers of using cell phones while driving.
Yet, the NHTSA found that in 2016 there were approximately 481,000 drivers using cell phones while driving during daylight hours. These distracted drivers lead to 3,450 deaths and 391,000 injuries. Teenagers are the largest group reported to be distracted at the time of a fatal crash.
- Illegal Maneuvers
From speeding, to improper lane changes, illegal U-turns, and red-light running, there are countless ways drivers negligently operate their motor vehicle. While these illegal maneuvers may seem small or insignificant, they can also result in serious injuries or even death when violated.
- Driving While Under the Influence
Every state has set .08% blood alcohol concentration (BAC) as the legal limit for driving while under the influence. According to the NHTSA drunk-driving claims more than 10,000 lives per year. Don’t forget! Driving while under the influence of drugs, including prescription pills and marijuana, also constitutes as driving while under the influence.
- Invalid License/ Auto Insurance
In the United States, if you drive a car without a valid driver’s license or permit, then you are illegally operating a motor vehicle. Every state has different rules on how often you must update your driver’s license for it to remain valid. The same goes for auto insurance. Most states require drivers to carry insurance and the state sets the minimum dollar amount of insurance that must be carried. Keeping an auto’s insurance valid is the responsibility of the vehicle owner.
If you’ve been injured because another driver has broken a traffic law, find out what legal options you have. Contact the experienced Central Phoenix, AZ car accident lawyer from Kamper & Estrada, PLLC for a free consultation.