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Lies You’ve Been Told about Traffic Laws

Written by Jared Staver

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Jared Staver is a Personal Injury Lawyer based in Chicago, Illinois and has been practicing law for over 20 years.

Jared Staver

CATEGORY: Auto Accidents, Personal Injury


Most people know the fear and anxiety of seeing the flashing lights of a police car behind them all too well. People break traffic laws, sometimes completely inadvertently. Most traffic stops aren’t much more than a serious inconvenience, but some violations or the accumulation of multiple violations can impact your wallet, driving privileges, and insurance premiums.

Everyone knows that going faster than the posted speed limit is illegal, but with so many laws on the books, some lead to serious confusion and common misconceptions. Some commonly held falsehoods about traffic laws are:

    • It’s illegal to drive while barefoot. According to federal and state laws, it’s not illegal to drive while barefoot. It may be uncomfortable though, so perhaps it’s best to keep your shoes on.
    • It’s illegal to use a Brodie knob. A Brodie knob, commonly known as a suicide knob, attaches to your steering wheel in order to make it easier to drive and steer with one hand. Power steering makes them largely unnecessary, and they aren’t used very often, but they aren’t illegal in most states.
    • It’s illegal to wear headphones while driving. Not in most states.
    • U-turns are illegal. Not everywhere and not all the time. Consult your local traffic code to see if, when, and where u-turns are permissible.
    • It’s illegal to ride in trailers or the back of a pickup truck. It depends on where you are, how fast you’re going, and whether or not you are a minor.
    • You can’t get a DUI if you aren’t driving a car. Most DUI statutes prohibit the operation of motorized vehicles other than automobiles, including scooters, power wheelchairs, golf carts, riding lawn mowers, farm equipment, and water craft.
    • Your traffic ticket will be dismissed if your ticketing officer doesn’t show up to court. Not necessarily. It depends on the laws of your state and what stage of the hearing process you are in.
    • Clerical mistakes on your ticket means it will be dropped. If your ticket was written with some inaccuracy in your name, time the ticket was issued, or your license plate number, it’s still a valid ticket.
    • You can speed to keep up with traffic or pass someone. No you can’t and you will likely still be issued a ticket if you try to use this as an excuse.
    • Your tickets won’t follow you to another state. Most states share ticket and driver’s license data. Points and fines will also transfer to other states.

There are a lot of traffic law and ticket myths out there. The better informed you are about traffic codes the better driver you can be. If you’ve been injured in a traffic accident, contact Illinois traffic accident lawyers from Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. at (312) 236-2900 to discuss your case and get the compensation you deserve.

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(312) 236-2900
(312) 236-2900
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