In frantic moments our brains don’t operate as soundly as we might think and dangerous behaviors are irrationally rationalized.
In times of hurry we sometimes neglect common laws, like stopping at red lights or giving pedestrians their right of way. I mean COME ON!! how does the old lady driving 5 miles per hour under the speed limit in front of you not know that you are in a moment of sheer desperation?
While you refrain from gesturing “friendly” hand signals, remember that you’ve read this post and already know the most commonly violated driving laws.
No surprise here. Each day approximately 112,000 speeding tickets are issued with the annual total hovering near 41 million – only about 5% are ever contested. This amounts to about $6.2 billion in speeding fines each year. Divided out, that’s approximately $300,000 per US police officer. For you lead-foots out there, the top three most notorious states issuing speeding tickets are Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York. You just went from being a Buckeye to a radar gun bullseye!
2. Seat Belt / Driving Restraint Violation
Depending on where you’re located, you might have seen the various highway signs that read “click it or ticket”. If you haven’t seen the signs, there are plenty of commercials that will alert you to the law. Driving without a personal restraint or allowing your passengers to ride without their restraints is a risky practice. The mindset of “it won’t happen to me” is not only naive, but also dangerous. Besides, you’d be surprised to know that over 50% of accidents occur within a 5-mile radius of where the person(s) lives – those are supposed to be the streets they know best.
3. Driving Distracted
What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think about examples of distracted driving? Texting? Technology is both a blessing and a curse! Even though current smartphones allow us to simultaneously keep both hands on the wheel and tell creepy Siri to text our friend about the burrito we just ate, it’s still not safe. Distracted driving isn’t just texting or talking while driving, rather it extends to a multitude of activities, including: eating, doing makeup, fighting with your sister and playing the air drums to Bachman Turner Overdrive’s “Takin’ Care of Business”. If it’s that urgent, please pull over.
4. Driving Under the Influence
This one is a major no-no, tisk-tisk. The acronym MADD (mothers against drunk driving) isn’t an accident, but driving under the influence can cause one. To show you how depressingly common drunk driving accidents are, if you average the total number of drunk driving accidents that result in an injury each year you’d have one for ever 90 seconds. Furthermore, about 1 in 3 people will be involved in some way, shape or form with a drunk driving accident during their lifetime. Even with stern penalties that restrict drivers after they are found guilty of drunk driving, it is estimated that anywhere from 50-75% of those drivers continue to operate a vehicle on a suspended license. Driving under the influence is a dangerous activity and I can guarantee that your taxi fare won’t be as steep as the fines.
5. Failing to Use Your Signals
This one really grinds my gears (no pun intended). You’re driving down the highway, minding your own business when all of a sudden the guy in the lane next to you decides that now is a good time to make a lane change. No blinker style. People who appropriately use their blinkers understand a thing or two about proper etiquette, plus it’s the law and it helps us communicate our intent to surrounding drivers.