Whether you have recently obtained your license or have been driving for over a decade – it’s important that you always have your wits about you when driving. For example, you must ensure that you are focused on the road, able to perceive hazards and that you comply with all speeding regulations and guidance. While this may seem like basic guidance, allowing these basic instincts to slip could not only result in an accident, it could also land you in a great deal of legal trouble moving forward.
However, did you know that on some occasions, motorists break the law without even realizing they are doing so?
With that in mind, here are some surprising ways in which you may be breaking the law behind the wheel.
Having open containers in your vehicle
By now, we are well informed of the dangers associated with drink driving (and the fact that it’s illegal to get behind the wheel when you are over the limit). However, did you also know that in some states, having an open alcohol container in your car (regardless of whether or not you are drinking from it) is also a criminal offense? As a result, you should ensure that you brush up on open container laws in order to appropriately comply with these regulations and guidance.
Driving too slow
With speeding corners lurking around every corner, and constant news adverts detailing the true dangers of speeding, it’s clear that you must never exceed the speed limit. Whether you are running late for a meeting or are about to miss a flight – there is no excuse for breaching this law. However, many drivers are unaware that in some spaces, driving too slow could land you in legal trouble. This is due to the fact that slow driving presents its own unique hazards. For example, a driver complying with the speed guidance may have to swerve around you or hit their brakes suddenly. As a result, it could lead to a car accident occurring.
Snacking and driving
For years, there was a prominent myth floating around the internet that the act of eating behind the wheel could land you in legal trouble. However, this isn’t strictly true – as there are no laws stopping you from reaching for that candy bar on a long drive. That being said, you could be breaking the law by allowing yourself to come distracted when driving, such as if you turn your focus away from the road to unwrap candy. In short, anything that increases your chances of losing control behind the wheel is an actionable offense.
Letting your road rage show
Road rage gets to us all from time to time – whether you’re running late or simply dealing with another driver who seems incompetent. However, expressing your road rage could land you in legal trouble in some states. For example, in certain areas of Maryland, swearing from a vehicle (within earshot of others) is classified as a misdemeanor – which could land you upwards of $100 in fines. In rare cases, this could even result in jail time. As a result, if you are driving through Maryland and find yourself dealing with a bad case of road rage, try to swear in your head instead of out loud (or at least roll your windows up first).
Not having the right insurance
Getting behind the wheel of a car without having the right insurance policy to back you is a criminal offense – and one with serious repercussions. Therefore, if your insurance is set to expire or needs to be changed, you must ensure that you do this sooner rather than later – unless you want to land yourself in a difficult financial situation further down the line. Furthemore, not having the right insurance means that you’ll struggle to receive the help you need when making a car accident claim.
Honking your horn
Car horns form a necessary part of your vehicle, allowing you to alert others to hazards or make your presence known. However, they are often misused. For example, believe it or not, they were not included to be used as a tool to express your frustration about getting caught in a traffic jam or for being overtaken on the road. While usually, this is not much of an issue, there are some occasions where honking your horn could actually result in legal complications. For example, in ‘Little Rock, it is illegal to honk your car horn anywhere that serves cold drinks or sandwiches after 9 p.m’.
Intentionally splashing a pedestrian
You’ve probably seen hundreds of videos of pedestrians getting splashed by drivers speeding through puddles on a rainy day. While this is a little entertaining at first, you must know that doing so could once again be considered an offense because you will be causing intentional harm to another person. Therefore, you should resist the temptation to do this. Additionally, while it may be funny, it’s also a great way to ruin somebody’s day for no good reason.
Some Myths about Driving Laws
While there are plenty of surprising ways in which you may be breaking the law when driving, you might also be surprised to hear that there are some ‘laws’ that we believe to be true which have no basis in fact whatsoever. For example, despite common misconception, it is not illegal to:
- To drive barefoot. (Although, wearing footwear while behind the wheel is advisable due to the fact that it allows for better grip and strength, making your vehicle easier to control.
- To drive with your interior light on. However, again, if you can go without using the light when driving, then you may benefit from doing so due to the fact it reduces distractions and ensures you remain focused on the road.
In short, there are various ways in which you may inadvertently be breaking the law when you are driving. Therefore, you must brush up on your knowledge to ensure that you are able to move forward with confidence!
(Disclaimer: This content is a partnered post. This material is provided as news and general information. It should not be construed as an endorsement of any investment service. The opinions expressed are the personal views and experience of the author, and no recommendation is made.)