| Driving Laws
Police car with flashing lights seen in outside rear-view door mirror

Traffic tickets are big business. How big? Approximately 3.75 to 7.5 billion dollars worth of state revenue each year in the U.S., not including parking tickets, reports Motorists.org.

To every driver who receives one, they’re a pricey annoyance. To every police officer who hands one out, they’re a necessary tool to help regulate the roughly 210 million licensed drivers on the road today.

There’s no foolproof way to avoid ever getting a traffic ticket. With that said, steering clear of common traffic violations is a good way to put the odds in your favor, hold onto your money, and keep yourself, your loved ones, and the roads safer.

Here’s a list of five common traffic violations, their dangers, and tips on how you can avoid them:

  1. Speeding

Driving fast than the posted speed limit is a violation of the law. It’s a law that exists to help prevent the roughly 10,000+ deaths which occur each year as the result of speeding, reports the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Dodge a ticket and save some lives: do not drive above posted speeds and give yourself time to reach your destination.

  1. Driving Under the Influence

More than 10,000 people die each year as the result of drunk driving, notes the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Penalties for driving while impaired are correspondingly steep and may include fines that can reach thousands of dollars, the loss of a person’s driver’s license, canceled car insurance, and even jail time.

The CDC recommends several steps to limit the damage to people and property that impaired driving can cause. Steps to avoid drunk driving include:

  • Before drinking, designate a non-drinking driver when with a group.
  • Don’t let your friends drive impaired.
  • If you have been drinking or using drugs, get a ride home, use a rideshare service, or call a taxi.
  1. Reckless Driving

Distracted driving, not using a signal to indicate a turn, sudden braking, and more—a lot of these offenses can be attributed to reckless driving. This sort of driving results in more than 13,000 accidents each year, notes one personal injury attorney out of Florida, which explains why some states hand out harsh penalties.

Penalties can include jail time (at least one day, on average, for a first offense and three days for a second offense), suspension of driver’s license, and a ticket that can reach as high as $6,000.

Reckless driving can wreck you in more ways than one. Avoid car-to-car altercations (road rage), always wear your seatbelt, and report any dangerous driving you witness. 

  1. Distracted Driving

Texting, talking on the phone or with others in the car, looking for a great song on the radio: it all counts as distracted driving, as does anything else that takes your attention away from driving safely.

More than 3,400 people died as a result of distracted driving in 2016 alone, reports NHTSA. You’ve likely seen ads, signs, and even traffic stops designed to curb this growing danger. Make sure you don’t contribute to it. Remain focused on the road at all times — stay off your phone.

  1. Running a Red Light

More than 700 people die each year as the result of red-light running crashes, reports American Traffic Solutions. Following traffic signals is one of the simplest, but most effective ways to reduce accidents, which might be why “failure to stop” is one of the priciest tickets you can get. Help avoid one of these tickets by slowing down, not speeding up when you approach a yellow light.

At Direct Auto Insurance, we know it can be hard to maintain a perfect driving or insurance record. No one is perfect! That’s we work hard to help all drivers find affordable car insurance, even if they’ve been dropped from their insurance in the past for having too many traffic violations. Call 1-877-GO-DIRECT (1-877-463-4732) or come into a Direct Auto location near you to learn more!