We get a lot of questions about why a police officer or highway patrol officer might pull a driver over. No, it’s usually not to meet a quota. It’s actually to address some bad driving habits that could cause an accident. Here are some of the top violations of driving safety seen in Arizona that often result in traffic tickets.
Broken Head or Tail Light
When either of these are out of operation, it can be scary for nearby drivers. They are less likely to see the affected vehicle’s position and know what actions they plan to take, such as slowing down or turning. It is equally as bad to have an inoperable blinker. Vehicles in both directions are unaware of a driver’s intent to turn right or left if they cannot see a blinker. Perform this safety test at home to routinely check for operable lights at least once a quarter.
Lane bouncing is usually associated with drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs. It poses a safety risk to other drivers because they can’t tell if the driver was trying to merge into the new lane or if the driver simply cannot control their vehicle.
Bouncing back and forth in a lane is also a symptom of vehicles with low tire air pressure or even front or rear-end drive misalignment. Keep on top of your vehicle’s maintenance to help avoid this issue. It’s recommended to check your air pressure every two times you fill up at the gas pumps. Consult with your mechanic for suggested tire rotation and drive alignment checks.
Lane weaving, on the other hand, is often a sign of an aggressive driver. Weaving in and out of lanes is not a proper lane change and is often linked with excessive speeds. If the aggressive driver isn’t paying attention, they could side-swipe the vehicle that was already occupying that position in the lane, causing an accident. When making a lane change, do not move into the desired lane until you can see the closest vehicle’s full front grill in your rearview mirror. This means there’s adequate space between you and them for lane merges and any traffic changes.
In 2015, there were more than 50,000 captured instances where a driver was speeding too fast for conditions. Furthermore, more than 200 of these safety violations caused fatal car accidents. Speed does kill – it was one of the top three contributing factors for fatalities in car crashes in 2015 according to Crash Facts, an Arizona Department of Transportation publication that is updated each year. Make a healthier driving habit by leaving five minutes earlier than planned to help you avoid speeding.
Inappropriate Left-Hand Turns
Almost every trip involves a left-hand turn at some point. While this is the most unsafe type of turn to take, turning left on a green arrow is the easiest way to prevent an accident. Oncoming traffic travels at varying speeds, so if you try to turn left prematurely, you could risk a car accident. If you need to turn left without an arrow or without a traffic control light, it is best to wait until there is a break in traffic, even if it means holding up a line behind you. Just be aware that left-hand turn drivers are most often found to be at fault in the event of any accident with a left-hand turn.
Being pulled over doesn’t have anything to do with you personally. Law enforcement officers are just trying to make a safer road for everyone. Help keep our roads safe by driving defensively and exercising caution.
Skousen, Gulbrandsen & Patience works alongside Arizona’s law enforcement every day for personal injury cases, mostly as a result of car accidents throughout the Mesa area. If you were injured as a result of any of these driving safety violations, let us help you protect your medical and legal rights. Request your free consultation at our office today.