Driving is all fun and games until you get slapped with a steep fine. If you don’t want to get stuck with an expensive ticket, watch out for these common traffic violations. #4 is an awful idea…

1. Speeding

Surprised? You shouldn’t be. When you’re running late, it’s tempting to speed. Statistics reflect that fact. 112,000 people receive a speeding ticket every day. That adds up to 41,000,000 citations per year. About 20% of drivers get pulled over for speeding on an annual basis. Ouch!

The best way to prevent a speeding ticket? It’s simple. Don’t speed! Here are some more ideas. Keep a close eye on your speedometer (especially when you’re driving in an unfamiliar area). Set your cruise control for no more than 5 MPH over the speed limit.

Lastly, be aware of “triggers” that cause you to speed. If you tend to wake up late (and panic about the possibility of being tardy), start setting your alarm for 5-20 minutes earlier. You won’t have any reason to speed when you’re consistently on time.

2. Running stop signs and red lights.

Red light cameras are a reality. They’re operational in approximately half of the United States. Whether you’re busted by a red light camera or police officer, these tickets are super expensive. Here’s a list of laws on the books RE: disobeying traffic signals in all fifty states.

Resist the urge to drive through a red light. You could put another driver at risk. And for what? So you can save a few minutes? That’s not a good excuse. And beware: if you “roll through” a stop sign (without coming to a full stop), it will count as a violation. Hit the brakes… hard!

3. Ill-advised or unsafe lane changes.

If you don’t alert other drivers before making decisions that affect them, you might get in trouble. For example, failing to use your signal before changing lanes is a huge no-no. That driver might not react in time. Hello, fender bender! That’s not my idea of a fun day…

If you get a ticket for an unsafe lane change, expect to pay about $150. Do it again and the fine will increase to $250-400. You’ll also receive two points on your license. Your auto insurance cost might increase as a consequence. Worth it? I don’t think so. Use your signal!

4. Reckless or aggressive driving tactics.

Work was horrible. Relaxation is in order! You’re ready to get home. On the Interstate, you get stuck behind an elderly driver going 10 MPH under the speed limit. “Not today, granny…”

You tailgate without mercy. If she hit the brakes, you’d surely rear-end her. Or maybe there’s another slow driver in the left lane. There’s barely enough room to maneuver, but you risk it… like a scene out of “The Fast and Furious.”

If a highway patrolman saw either of these behaviors, they might pull you over. There’s no place for risky or reckless driving on our roads. 40,200 people died in traffic accidents during 2016. That’s more traffic deaths than we’ve seen in nearly a decade.

Being careless only increases the danger of death and dismemberment. Make no mistakes. Driving requires your attention. You’re operating a high speed machine that could cause serious harm to another person. Please put your phone away. Be mindful of the road at all times!

Want to avoid common traffic violations? Follow these tips and guidelines! If you want to help your friends prevent a traffic ticket, share this blog on social media.

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