Legal Considerations When Hitting the Road

car accident

There are some valid reasons laws get implemented and enforced for people to follow. And these apply to drivers hitting the road. The goal is to promote the utmost road safety to prevent vehicle accidents, personal injuries, and even loss of lives.

As a responsible driver, one must have their driver’s license and auto insurance when driving. They must also strictly follow the traffic laws. Plus, they must ensure their vehicles are in top shape and working condition. Lastly, they must drive as safely as possible.

Unfortunately, some irresponsible and reckless drivers tend to disregard their legal obligations when driving. When caught, they end up getting violation tickets, being penalized, or even jailed. A few others end up with road collisions and have to deal with the accident’s aftermath.

Here are some legal considerations you must keep in mind when hitting the road:

1. Driver’s License

A driver’s license isn’t just another valid identification. It’s a legal piece that shows you’re allowed to drive on the road. It’s proof that you’ve undergone the proper orientation, training, and certification. This license justifies that you have the knowledge and skills for hitting the road.

Unfortunately, some people get caught driving without a driver’s license. Others tend to forget their license when they should have it with them every time they hit the road.

2. Auto Insurance

Most states require drivers to have auto insurance when they own a vehicle and drive on the roads. This legal requirement for drivers makes sense, as car insurance comes with a handful of benefits.

One, auto insurance primarily secures your vehicle. Two, it pays for your medical bills in case of an accident. Lastly, it protects you from potential lawsuits by not holding you legally liable. That’s why accident-prone drivers obtain high-risk auto insurance to ensure their utmost protection.

3. Traffic Laws

traffic jam

The traffic laws vary from one state or country to another. However, you must be well-acquainted with these in your locality as a responsible driver.

You might have already learned some basic traffic laws during your driving orientation. Know that all these lean towards road safety. For your reference, below are common traffic laws.

  • Know the meaning of red, yellow, and green lights
  • Take a halt at stop signs and check drivers and pedestrians before proceeding
  • Identify low-speed zones in your area (school zones and streets with intersections)
  • Drive within the required speed limit
  • Be wary of handicapped signs, fire hydrants, and bus stop zones
  • Be mindful of parking restrictions and parking spots requiring permits
  • Pull to the side if you hear a siren coming behind you

4. Complete Car Gear and Components

Another legal consideration is ensuring the overall condition of your vehicle when driving. As much as possible, your car must be in top shape and working condition. The last thing you want to happen is to have a malfunctioned brake system and end up in an accident.

In addition, you must ensure your vehicle parts or components don’t have equipment violations. That said, be wary of the following:

  • Headlight or taillight out
  • Windshield obstructing vision
  • Noisy exhaust
  • Incorrect, unreadable, or missing plates
  • No seat belts in use

5. Driving Speed

It’s crucial to be aware of the driving speed limit in your area. The rule of thumb is not to drive too fast or too slowly.

First off, be sure to obey the speed limit at all times. Know that speeding tickets can be costly. Your penalty can also lead to fines, court appearances, and even driving suspension.

Second, avoid driving too slowly. Not only will you annoy other drivers hitting the road, but you’ll also cause suspicion. You might end up getting pulled over by a police officer.

6. DUI or DWI

A driver must be wary of driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI). According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), most states set .08 percent Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) as the legal limit for driving.

This legal requirement makes sense as alcohol can affect your reflexes, reduce your mental acuity, and impact your ability to control your car. As such, drunk driving can indeed lead to road accidents.

If you get caught DUI or DWI, you’ll end up with legal consequences. These may include jail time, hefty fines, and the suspension of your driver’s license.

Road safety, a top priority

Road safety is and will always be a top priority. To ensure this, one must be a responsible driver. As such, it pays to have some legal considerations in mind when hitting the road. Be sure to factor in the legal matters discussed above, from securing the driver’s license to adhering to traffic laws down to using seat belts. With all these in mind, a driver won’t end up with legal ramifications when driving. Ultimately, they can promote the utmost safety on the road.

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