Most drivers in America would consider themselves safe, law abiding drivers, however even the best drivers are probably guilty of a breaking a traffic law here or there. Speeding, rolling through a stop sign, or failing to use a turn signal may seem like minor infractions, but even these basic violations can lead to heavy consequences.
Not surprisingly, speeding is the most commonly broken traffic law by American drivers. Although it may seem like a minor infraction, new studies conducted by The National Transportation Safety Board reveal that speeding is the leading cause of traffic related deaths. Even if an accident does not occur as a result of speeding, depending on the state law and the speed the driver was traveling, fines for speeding can be upwards of $200. In addition, points may be applied against the driver’s license resulting in an increase in auto insurance rates.
Running Red Lights and Stop Signs
In most states, red light and stop sign violations are noncriminal traffic infractions. The majority of red light infractions happen when a driver sees a light turn yellow and rather than slowing down to a stop, speeds up to beat the light. Similarly, to a speeding ticket, running a red light or even just rolling through a stop sign could potentially cost the driver a couple hundred dollars in fines.
Failure to Use Turn Signals
After a day of driving (especially in Florida) it may seem as if using a turn signal is optional. Using a turn signal when making a turn or changing lanes however, is required by law. It is essential to roadway safety that other vehicles are aware when a driver needs to turn and reduce their speed. Most state laws require that a driver signal their intent to turn or change lanes for at least 100 feet prior to the turn or changing of lane.
Cell Phone Use/Distracted Driving
Distracted driving is one of the major causes of traffic accidents and traffic related deaths in America and is still one of the most commonly broken traffic laws. In 2016, almost ten people a day were killed in traffic accidents as a result of distracted driving. According to the National Highway and Safety Administration, approximately 481,000 drivers are using cell phones while driving and the odds of collision for these distracted drivers are increased by twenty three percent. Although cell phones are the primary culprit for distracted driving; eating or drinking, putting on makeup, reading a map and rubbernecking all fall under the umbrella of distracted driving. Most states have made talking on the phone and texting while driving illegal. Some states, including Florida, have only banned texting while driving. Whatever your state law may be, it is important to avoid any distractions and stay focused while driving.
Reckless Driving is a blanket term used in most states to describe unsafe, negligent driving practices. Speeding, failing to obey traffic signals, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, racing other vehicles and evading law enforcement can all fall under the term “reckless driving”. A citation for reckless driving can carry more severe penalties than other moving violations and in some states, can even qualify as a misdemeanor offense.
Traffic related deaths have been steadily increasing in America for the past few years and these commonly broken laws are usually the cause. Speeding or texting while driving may seem like minor infractions but they can carry heavy consequences. Whenever you are facing a traffic citation, it is always wise to speak to an experienced attorney, like car accident lawyer Lake Worth, FL trusts, who can help walk you through the legal process.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Eric H. Luckman, P.A. for their insight into car accident cases.