Unfortunately, traffic violations are incredibly common and even the best, most-careful drivers can make mistakes from time to time. Statistics compiled by Time magazine show that the average number of yearly traffic citations is down in many states around the country. Still, this could be because fewer people are being caught and as a result, they may not realize they did anything wrong.
In fact, the average driver commits approximately 400 traffic violations for every traffic citation or ticket they actually receive. The problem is so widespread that the majority of drivers commit these and other violations frequently and often without knowing it.
Following Too Closely
One of the most common violations many people commit is following the car in front of them too closely. Typically, citations aren’t handed out for this offense except in the case of an accident or when someone is truly tailgating another driver. Nonetheless, the vast majority of drivers tend to drive far too close to others.
Most states have somewhat vague laws as to what exactly constitutes following too closely. Generally, the law might say something to the effect that a person cannot follow closer than is considered safe based on the speed and conditions. However, drivers are expected to keep at least one to one-and-a-half car lengths behind the driver in front of them for every 10 miles per hour they’re travelling. This means you need to be around six car lengths behind when you’re travelling 40 mph.
Driving in the Left Lane on a Multiple Lane Road
Although you wouldn’t know it from traveling down most highways, the majority of states have laws that state that the left-hand lane is reserved for passing on any road with two or more lanes. Too many drivers staying in the left lane can quickly cause traffic buildups and potential accidents, which is why some state highway patrols have recently begun cracking down on this all-too-common violation.
Not Stopping for Pedestrians
Pedestrians always have the right of way, which technically means that you need to stop any time someone walks out into the road. However, this is especially true in places where there is a crosswalk and no traffic light. In that scenario, you can easily be ticketed for failing to stop when a person is waiting at the crosswalk, even if they haven’t yet stepped into the street.
Improper Left Turn at a Traffic Light
Virtually everyone has made a left turn on a yellow light in order to avoid the frustration of having to wait through another set of lights. However, most states have laws in place that state that drivers must make a careful turn at the green light. This means that making a rushed turn when the light suddenly turns yellow could see you cited for an improper turn.
Improper turning doesn’t only relate to making a turn at a light. In fact, people often make improper turns almost every single turn they make. For example, when you make a right turn into a street, driveway or alley, the law states that you are supposed to stay as close to the right edge of the road as possible. Still, many people tend to swing out wide before making a right turn, which is another citable improper turning violation. The same thing goes if you swing out too far to the right when making a left turn.
Although the majority of these traffic violations are minor, they could still add up to a big problem should you be a repeat offender. Therefore, considering the rising number of traffic deaths each year, it wouldn’t be a bad idea if everyone started paying more attention to following the laws of the road. By doing so, you can hopefully help avoid paying huge fines or potentially needing the assistance of car accident lawyer Minneapolis MN trusts to defend you in traffic court, or worse, an attorney to defend you if you were to injure someone.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Johnston Martineau PLLP for their insight into car accident cases.