Driving a car can provide you with a lot of freedom and independence, but it’s also a huge responsibility. Driving a vehicle is the most dangerous thing most of us do on a daily basis. You put yourself in danger when you drive poorly, but you also put others in danger, which is why police officers always have their eyes open for drivers who aren’t behaving the way they should behind the wheel.
The last thing you want is to find yourself in trouble with the law, paying fines and going to court. When you know the most common ways you can get in trouble, you can avoid getting pulled over or finding yourself in an accident.
Speeding doesn’t seem like that big of a deal. After all, going a little faster can help you get to your destination more quickly, which is a godsend if you’re running late to work or you’re on vacation and you’ve spent hours in the car on the way to your hotel. However, the truth is that speeding can be extremely dangerous.
Speeding was a factor in about 26 percent of all traffic fatalities over two decades in the United States. Because speeding can cause deadly accidents, police officers always have their eyes open for people who are speeding. If you don’t want a ticket, you need to slow down!
Going the speed limit is always ideal, but going a few miles above the limit probably isn’t going to get you in trouble. Don’t drive any more than five miles above the speed limit if you don’t want to get pulled over.
Driving Too Slow
Most people know that you can pay some hefty fines for speeding, but did you know you can get in trouble for driving too slow?
Driving well below the speed limit can be just as dangerous as driving too fast. You can greatly affect the flow of traffic, and especially if you’re on the interstate, you can cause an accident when other drivers don’t expect you to be driving so slowly.
Because it’s dangerous, police officers will pull you over. You could be fined hundreds of dollars for driving too slowly, and if you’re driving slowly because you’re under the influence, you’ll find yourself in even more trouble.
Under the Influence
Think if you drive the speed limit under the influence police officers on the road won’t notice that you have been drinking? Think again! Whether you’re driving out of your lane, you stop abruptly repeatedly, or you’re hunched over the wheel of your vehicle, you could find yourself pulled over on the side of the road under suspicion of a DUI.
Alcohol is a big no-no, but there are other substances that can get you in trouble. Marijuana is legal in some states, but that doesn’t mean it’s legal to use and drive. That’s because marijuana use can negatively affect your ability to drive safely.
You could also get pulled over for driving under the influence of some prescription drugs. At the very least, someone will have to come pick you up, which can be extremely embarrassing, even if you aren’t sent to jail.
Texting has become part of our daily lives. It may not seem like a big deal to answer a text real quick while you’re driving, but it could get you in trouble with the law.
Even the shortest texts take your focus away from the road for five seconds, which is enough time for a serious accident to happen. In order to deter people from texting and driving, police officers can issue expensive tickets if you’re caught texting behind the wheel.
If you have to be available to text or talk while driving, connect your phone to your car’s speaker system via Bluetooth. That way you can connect to your device using your voice without having to take your eyes off the road.
Not Having the Proper Documentation
You have to have the proper documentation when you’re driving a car. That means having a license, but some other documents you need to have include:
- Valid registration
- Registration for trailers
This may all sound obvious, but it can be surprisingly tricky. If your license was suspended, you have to know exactly when it becomes active again, otherwise you could get in trouble. You could also find yourself in trouble if your license expired and you didn’t notice!
Not Using Your Seat Belt
Laws vary by state, but not wearing a seatbelt can get you into at least a little bit of trouble. It’s considered a misdemeanor in nearly every state, which means you can be fined. If you’re driving or you have a passenger in the front seat, make sure you’re both buckled up.
If you have kids in the backseat, you need to make sure they are properly restrained as well. Many states are issuing more tickets than ever to parents who don’t follow car seat safety laws. For example, in New Jersey, you could get stuck with a $75 ticket for having your two-year-old in a front-facing seat.
There are a lot of rules to follow on the road, but many drivers break them anyway. In most cases, it’s a simple case of bad driving habits that put everyone on the road in danger. A few examples of bad driving habits that could get you pulled over include:
- Changing lanes without signaling
- Forgetting to turn your headlights on
- Speeding through yellow lights
- Joyriding in the passing lane on the interstate
- Driving with headphones on
Some of these offenses can result in a hefty ticket, so it’s worth your time to brush up on road rules and pay more attention to how you’re driving when you’re behind the wheel.
No one wants to get pulled over! Make sure you’re driving exactly the way you should by following these tips. They can save you the time, hassle, and money of having to talk to a police officer and paying a hefty fine.