Traffic Laws – 7 Myths That Can Cost You
When it comes to avoiding tickets, it may seem everyone scored perfectly on their drivers test. But in reality, there may be certain driving habits you have which may actually be illegal. And when it comes to avoiding tickets and points on your driving record, there also seems to be quite a bit of misinformation floating about.
Your driving record directly impacts your insurance premium. Understanding the driving laws in your state not only can save you from unwanted tickets, but increased insurance costs as well. We’ve gathered eight traffic law myths which, when debunked, can save you money or worse, loss of your drivers license.
Driving With the Flow
We’ve all been there. You are driving down the interstate, and seemingly every vehicle is going well past the posted speed limit. Not wanting to slow down the flow, you decide to keep pace with the surrounding vehicles.
Doing something because “everyone else was doing it” wasn’t a valid excuse when you were a kid. And just as you were a kid, everyone else doing it isn’t a valid excuse in court either. The speed limit always applies, even if you are the one slowing everyone else down.
You May Exceed the Speed Limit to Pass
If it wasn’t clear enough, the speed limit is the speed limit. It doesn’t matter if you are going with the flow or passing a slowpoke on a two-lane country road. This myth gets thrown about as often as the slow driver is going only slightly below the speed limit.
Whenever you are attempting to pass a slower vehicle, drivers are to pass with extreme caution, at or under the posted speed limit, allowing enough room ahead and behind the slower vehicle to safely avoid oncoming traffic. If you cannot pass a vehicle at or below the posted speed limit, do not pass!
Driving Barefoot is Illegal
Set your feet free! In all 50 states, it is completely legal to drive barefoot. But, driving shoeless is usually not recommended. Shoes provide a larger surface area to touch the pedals. With less surface area, it may be easier to slip off or completely miss the pedals.
Driving barefoot also lessens the amount of pressure you can apply to the pedals. When needing to make an emergency maneuver, the lack of pressure may result in a crash which otherwise might have been avoided. Lastly, driving barefoot exposes your feet to the elements. Too hot or too cold, or even an unexpected poke from your floor mat could be enough of a distraction to cause an accident.
Officer Missing Courts Dates is a Free Pass
Officers usually don’t like being in court as much as you. But if they miss your court, this doesn’t mean you are off the hook. Usually, the case is pended for a later date in the hopes both parties can attend. And don’t think you can call in sick for court more than once without more potentially more legal problems than you started with.
Out of State Tickets Don’t Matter
Driving out of state isn’t a license for reckless driving. Most states participate in the Interstate Driver’s License Compact, or DLC for short. The DLC provides for the sharing of driving violations among the states. This means a speeding ticket in a far away state just might result in points against your drivers license in your home state.
Overpaying a Ticket Makes It Disappear
Overpaying a ticket will not make the violation disappear from your driving record. In fact, if you overpay a ticket by a certain amount, usually more than $5 or $10, the jurisdiction receiving the excess payment may very well send you a refund for the additional contribution.
This myth is likely a result of violations which would’ve normally not appeared on your driving record in the first place. Many non-moving violations do not show up on your driving record. Unfortunately, at some point in history, someone overpaid a ticket and thought it was of their own generosity which kept their record clean. The myth has persisted ever since.
Unsigned Tickets Get Dismisses
So, you got pulled over and received a ticket from the police officer. The officer politely hands you your paperwork and sends you on your way. As you review your most costly mistake you notice the ticket wasn’t signed. “Yippee,” you think to yourself. If you think unsigned tickets are akin to a getting our jail free card, you are sorely mistaken. Plenty of evidence exists to prove exactly who, when, and where a ticket is issued. Signatures are not much more than a formality in the world of traffic tickets.
Understanding traffic laws is not only important for you and your fellow drivers’ safety, but also to your insurance carrier. If you ever have a question related to traffic laws, visit the State DMV website for reliable information instead of relying on what could very well be a traffic law myth!
To learn more about how traffic violations may be impacting your insurance, contact the experts at demontinsurance.com at (800) 800-522-1997. Our licensed insurance experts will be happy to answer any questions you have.