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Top Tips for Avoiding A Ticket

Avoid Getting A TicketIf you’ve ever gotten a traffic ticket, you know the stomach-clenching feeling you get when a police car pulls up behind you with its lights flashing. Whether you’re getting busted for speeding, running a stop sign, making an illegal u-turn, or some other infraction, it’s an unpleasant and often costly experience.  Not only do you have to pay a fine and possibly go to court, your infraction might just add up to a hike in your auto insurance.  No matter what the outcome, it’s something you want to avoid.

According to Edmunds, there are certain driving infractions that are sure to get you pulled over and ticketed. Knowing those infractions can save you from the hassle and expense of an unpleasant encounter with the law and the resulting hit on your wallet.

Edmunds polled law enforcement agencies and driving experts to ascertain the most common reasons for getting a citation. What follows are the top things to avoid in order to prevent getting a ticket.

Putting the pedal to the metal is a biggie when it comes to traffic violations.  Anyone who drives on major thoroughfares notices that far too many drivers exceed the speed limit, either by a little or a lot. The fact of the matter is that there’s a reason speed limits are set, regardless of the reasons that people choose to ignore them. The faster the speed, the slower the reaction time when you need to stop to avoid a collision.  This is true on interstate highways, residential neighborhoods and densely trafficked commercial areas where people are constantly changing lanes, turning and pulling out into traffic.  One policeman is quoted says that ticketing drivers for speeding is law enforcement’s way of controlling the ‘mileage death rate’, or the number of fatalities per highway mile. That said, can you speed without getting a ticket?  Driving experts and law enforcement officials say you can usually get away with exceeding the speed limit by five to seven miles per hour.  The best advice though, is just to follow the law and travel at the posted speed.

Get off My #%!!  We all know how annoying – not to mention dangerous – it is when a driver gets right up on our bumper. Are you one of those drivers? If you do tailgate, you should know that driving too closely behind another vehicle is another cause for a traffic ticket. According to the Kansas Highway Patrol, the law requires you to follow other vehicles at ‘a reasonable and prudent distance’, considering the speed of traffic and road conditions. This is true for all states. Almost half of all vehicle accidents are rear-end collisions and most of them occur due to tailgating, so don’t be surprised if you get pulled over if an officer sees you following too closely behind the car in front of you.

Hang Up the Phone: Driving while talking on the phone is another biggie when it comes to getting a ticket.  Texting is a violation in many states, although it’s harder for police to tell if you’re texting because it’s often done below eye level.  It’s pretty easy to spot someone talking on the phone and in states where mobile phone use is a no-no while driving, you will get a ticket if the cops spot you doing it. Keep in mind that even though it’s harder to get busted for texting, doing so is incredibly dangerous.  Studies have shown that texting impairs driving even more than drunk driving, so don’t do it!

Dangerous Driving is an umbrella term for a variety of violations that will get you a citation.  The category includes running a stop sign or a red light, making unlawful u-turns, failure to yield to another vehicle and changing lanes improperly.  Many of these infractions can be a result of distracted driving, whether you’re talking on the phone, texting, eating, or messing around with your stereo system.  The bottom line is that your first priority when you’re behind the wheel is to drive safely so as not to jeopardize the health and well being of others, as well as yourself.  Dangerous driving is above all – dangerous – but it will also land you a hefty fine and possibly an equally large hike in your auto insurance.