No one likes getting pulled over by the cops but taking the necessary precautions to avoid a ticket will not only help keep you and other drivers safe, but could reduce the cost of your insurance as well. To help drivers from getting pulled over, Edmunds.com went straight to the source, police agencies and traffic experts, to find out what catches the attention of traffic cops and how to avoid an up close and personal meeting.
Here are the top five violations to avoid:
- Speeding. Everyone does it to one degree or another, but it is one of the most dangerous driving habits. Not only does speeding increase the amount of time it takes to react to an unexpected situation, but it also greatly increases breaking distance. Speeding is a hazard to everyone on the road, and while many cops offer a “buffer” over the posted speed limit, it is up to the office on whether to provide any leniency.
- Illegal mobile phone use. Distracted driving is a serious issue and many states are now passing laws banning the use of mobile phones, and texting particularly, while driving. Cops are cracking down on illegal cell phone use due in part to how common it is. Only the worst accidents make the news, but fender-benders and small accidents occur daily.
- Hazardous driving. Police will never tolerate hazardous driving because it’s, well, hazardous. Reckless driving puts everyone on the road at risk, and can include everything from stop sign violations to illegal U-turns and unsafe speeds. More and more, cops are finding drivers doing everything but driving: shaving, eating, and even changing clothes. According to one officer, “There is no safe speed for pulling a shirt off over your head while driving.”
- Equipment violations. Code violations are very common and include burned-out or broken headlights, broken windshields, expired tags and illegally tinted windows. Avoid being pulled over and ticketed for a minor infraction by simply checking you vehicle for issues.
- Following too closely and improper lane changes. Although these are both forms of hazardous driving, they are so common they needed to be addressed separately. Allowing a safe distance between yourself and the vehicle ahead of you and properly signaling lane changes are crucial to avoiding accidents. Both infractions reduce the amount of time a driver can react and are often combined with distracted driving from things like cell phone use, creating the worst possible situation.
Avoiding the above violations will hopefully keep you from getting pulled over, and keep you safe, but there are plenty of other ways to attract the police. Officers advise that many accidents begin with a frustrated, impatient driver so do your best to stay calm and relax, possibly by listening to soothing music. And no matter what happens, watch your mouth. The best way to make a simple traffic violation turn into a major one is to talk back to the cop or act hostile.
Looking for additional safe driving tips, check out what the U.S. Postal Service has to say or review these useful Tips for Better Driving. Also, make sure you have any equipment violations fixed as soon as possible. Contact Pfeiffer Used Cars & Quick Lane to schedule a service appointment today!