10 Traffic Rules Everyone Forgets


No matter how long you’ve been driving, there’s a good chance you tend to speed every now and then. Even going 5 miles-per-hour over the limit is against the law. Curious about speed limits around the country? The National Motorists Association has this guide for every state.

Not Stopping

Stop means stop—as in a full stop. It can be tempting to just slow down at a stop sign or red light when there’s no other traffic around, but police can issue a ticket for not coming to a complete stop at a stop sign or at a red light. “Red light running happens frequently and is often deadly. In 2017, 890 people were killed in crashes that involved red light running,” according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). In addition, an estimated 132,000 people were injured in red light running crashes in 2017.

Wearing Seat Belts

When your destination is just around the corner or a block away, it can be tempting to save time by not buckling up. But for much of the country, it’s one of those traffic rules that shouldn’t be ignored. Thirty-four states have primary seat belt laws for front seat occupants, and 29 states have laws enforcing rear seat belt use, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association.


Tailgating is one of those traffic rules that can be easy to forget when you’re in a hurry. However, tailgating causes accidents. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says rear-end collisions account for 28 percent of highway accidents.

According to Drive-Safely.net, “At a MINIMUM, during dry weather conditions, you should have at least 2 seconds of space between you and the vehicle in front of you (3 seconds is better). Do this by using a fixed object such as a bridge, tree, or even a crack or shadow in the roadway. Once the rear bumper of the vehicle in front of you crosses that object, begin to count… one-thousand-one, one-thousand two, one-thousand three, etc. If you don’t make it to 2 by the time your front bumper crosses that same fixed object, you need to increase the following distance. Of course, being further away than 3 seconds isn’t only acceptable, it’s recommended.”

Cell Phone Use

Answering that phone call or sending a quick text message while behind the wheel may not seem like a big deal, but it is. As of February 2019, 48 states ban text messaging for all drivers, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. In addition, 18 states prohibit all drivers from hand-held cell phones while driving. Learn more at StopTextsStopWrecks.org.

Using Turn Signals

Turn signals help communicate your actions to other drivers, but it’s not uncommon for drivers to forgo using them. About 40 percent of a vehicle’s outer perimeter is hidden by blind spots, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. “Failure to signal is illegal, inconsiderate and extremely dangerous to everyone in your vehicle and to all the road users around you,” the department notes.

10 Traffic Rules Everyone Forgets