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Traffic Laws We’re All Breaking (Every Day)

Dimming Brights

divided highway at night

We’ve all been blinded by that jerk driver who refused to dim their brights as they went on their merry way.

But for the most part, we’re all aware that we’re required to dim our brights when approaching someone from behind or passing a stranger going the opposite direction on a dark highway.

“If we’re all dimming our lights (except for that one jerk who seems to get around to EVERY state), how are we breaking this law?” You ask. 

Two words: divided highways

Divided highways are weird and can have exceptions to common roadway rules. Dimming your brights is not one of those exceptions. Even when driving on divided highways, you’re supposed to dim your brights for oncoming traffic. Who knew?

Horn Honking

close up of a vehicle steering wheel

Depending on where you live, a horn honk can mean different things, ranging from, “Hi, Friend!” to, “Get moving, slowpoke!”

And just as some uses of the car horn are more obnoxious than others, some are more illegal than others. 

Legal uses include alerting drivers to negatively affecting the flow of the roadway (like not accelerating when the light turns green) or warning a distracted pedestrian about roadway danger as they step out into the intersection when your light is green. 

Illegal uses include using your horn for just about anything else or using your horn for legal reasons in an obnoxious or excessively long manner. 

That means the friendly, “Hi, Sarah! I’m driving and see you!” honk is the illegal action here. Whoops!

Turning Right On Red

red light at an intersection

Turning right on red is 100% legal. But only under very specific circumstances: 

  1. You have to come to a complete stop (sorry, rolling stops don’t count), 
  2. Your turn signal has to be on (I’m pretty sure some people don’t even know what this is…)
  3. Yield to oncoming traffic and crossing pedestrians before turning (if you force even a small brake tap, some officers will cite you for not yielding).

You better be ready to put the pedal to the metal if you want to avoid those brake taps.

Turning Into The Wrong Lane

cars waiting at intersection after one turned

When turning right, have you ever taken a wide turn into the far left lane? That’s not legal. Even if there’s no traffic.

You’re supposed to turn into the nearest lane, turn on your signal, wait 100 feet, and then turn into the far lane. What a pain! Especially if you need to turn the opposite direction immediately after.

It’s also illegal to turn out from a street into the turning lane. You know, like when you’re ten minutes late to pick up the kids from soccer practice and traffic from one direction is clear, but the other is heavy, so you pull out into the street and sit in the turn lane until you can squeeze in?

Sorry, little Timmy, Jimmy, and Kimmy. You’re going to have to wait with the coach a little while longer while the officer writes this ticket.

What other traffic laws do you see people breaking every day?

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