Driving gives you lots of freedom, but it can also be dangerous, and more than 38,000 people die in car accidents in the US every year. Failing to understand the rules of the road and relevant traffic laws can also land you in serious trouble with the police and lead to huge fines and prosecution. This is why you must know how to stay legal and safe while driving.
Here are some tips to help you avoid traffic-related fines and stay safe on the road.
All states in the US require drivers to have some form of vehicle insurance. There are two main types of car insurance: liability insurance and collision insurance. Liability insurance covers other people and their vehicles if you are involved in an accident, whereas collision insurance will pay for repairs to your vehicle. Insurance that includes both liability and collision coverage is known as comprehensive or full coverage car insurance. You should make sure you understand the difference between liability and full coverage car insurance by clicking here.
Many states only require liability insurance, with collision insurance being optional. It is a good idea to take out full-coverage insurance so that you are fully covered. This means that you won't risk having to fork out thousands of dollars on repairs if you are involved in an accident. You must check that your insurance is valid and keep your insurance documents in your vehicle at all times. Driving without valid insurance is a serious traffic violation, do not risk getting a suspended license for no insurance.
States have different rules regarding the use of mobile phones while driving. Some states have made it illegal to talk on a hand-held phone while driving, others have banned texting, and some have no formal restrictions at all.
Regardless of the laws in place, it is never a good idea to use your phone while driving. It is extremely distracting and can lead to serious accidents and injuries. Keep your phone out of sight while you are driving so that it can't cause a distraction. You should also avoid touching a sat nav or radio while you are driving, as losing sight of the road for just a few seconds can cause a collision.
It is a legal requirement to wear a seatbelt while driving in most US states and police officers have the authority to stop you and issue a fine or penalty if you aren't wearing a seatbelt. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that wearing a seatbelt correctly can lower the risk of front-seat passenger car occupant fatalities by 45%.
You should always wear a seat belt while driving, even on short journeys. Make sure that all passengers are also wearing their seat belts before you start driving. If you are traveling with babies or young children, then make sure that they are fastened securely into an appropriate child seat.