We all went to driving school, took the test and passed right? But, how much of that knowledge really stuck with us throughout the years? Knowing the basic laws of the road can prevent a lot of accidents. Here’s a list of some often overlooked, but still, dangerous driving practices you can get ticketed for (or worse, can cause an accident):
Tailgating– The rule according to the Wisconsin department of transportation is, “The operator of a motor vehicle shall not follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard for the speed of such vehicle and the traffic upon and the condition of the highway.” Tailgating is not only illegal, but is a leading cause of traffic accidents. A good rule-of-thumb is, stay no less than 2 seconds between cars during the day, 3 seconds at night and 4 seconds during bad weather conditions.
Lane Changing– The law states “that no person may endanger the safety of any person or property by the negligent operation of a vehicle.” This includes recklessly weaving in and out of traffic. A survey conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says 24% of drivers encounter people “weaving” when on the road and unfortunately 60% of those motorists may be impaired. If you observe this sort driving, contact police or state patrol.
The proper way to change lanes is to:
- Turn on signal light
- Check your mirrors
- Check you blind spot, look over your shoulder
- When safe, change lanes
- Be sure to turn of signal light once you have changed lanes
Red Light Running – Wisconsindot.gov states that “traffic facing a red signal must stop before entering the crosswalk or before entering the intersection and must remain stopped until the light changes to green or some other signal permitting movement such as a green arrow.”
When making a right turn on red, “traffic facing a red signal at an intersection may, after stopping, cautiously enter the intersection to make a right turn into the nearest lane for traffic moving to the right.”
Making a left turn on red requires “traffic facing a red signal at an intersection may, after stopping, cautiously enter the intersection to make a left turn from a one-way highway into the nearest lane of a one-way highway on which traffic travels to the left.”
No matter how simple some of these rules may seem, they can be easy to forget in our everyday commute. So make a conscious effort to pay attention to the way you drive and practice defensive driving when it comes to others who may not be practicing safe habits. We can keep the Wisconsin roads a little safer by following the basic rules of the road.
If you have been given a ticket for violating traffic laws in the Wauwatosa area and need a lawyer, contact Basil M. Loeb specialized traffic law attorney and partner at Schmidlkofer, Toth, Loeb & Drosen LLC.