With an estimated 2.5 million traffic stops occurring every year in Illinois, and just shy of 1.5 million citations given, it’s clear that traffic violation education is something that Illinois drivers likely need. While traffic violations may not be a mortal sin, they are better off avoided. The first step in doing so is to learn the three most common traffic violations in Illinois.
It should come as no surprise that speeding is the single most common traffic violation. This is true both in Illinois as well as nationwide. The simplest way to avoid getting pulled over is to obey the speed limit. It’s worth remembering that speeding laws exist for a reason and disobeying them puts both you and other drivers in danger.
The faster you are going, the harder it is for you to stop. This is why speeding offenses contributed to over 25% of all vehicular accidents last year. Now, you may be thinking to yourself, “that only applies to bad drivers. Only bad drivers need to go the speed limit.” But study after study has shown that Americans severely overestimate their driving abilities. In one study, around 90% of participants rated themselves as “above average drivers.” We hate to be the ones to tell you this, but at least 41% of these people are wrong.
Don’t suffer the financially taxing and potentially deadly side-effects of overconfidence. Obey the speed limit and arrive at your destination accident-free. This is especially true when you’re driving on city roads.
Running a Stoplight or Stop Sign
This includes both blatantly blowing through stop lights, as well as so-called “rolling stops.” Many people will perform a rolling stop when driving in low-traffic or residential areas. A few good rules of thumb to avoid this common traffic violation in Illinois are:
- When approaching a green light that you suspect may soon turn yellow, pick a safe threshold in the road that represents where you will or will not stop should the light change. Make sure it’s at least several car lengths before the intersection.
- Always drive defensively when approaching stop lights or stop signs. This means to err on the side of caution and never try to beat a yellow light.
- Pay close attention to the drivers around your vehicle. Approximately 50% of all accidents occur at intersections. Not all of these will be due to a mistake on your part. They may be due to another driver’s negligence, which in turn, may be due to distracted driving.
It’s important to remember that while running a stoplight or stop sign may not seem like a big deal, it’s the second most common traffic violation in Illinois and under some circumstances can lead to your license being suspended.
Many drivers fail to use their turn signals when changing lanes. This is particularly dangerous on freeways and interstate highways where people are driving fast and can quickly careen out of control. Other drivers cannot read your mind, so you need to use your turn signal in all lane changes.
It is smart to remember that turn signals used for lane changes should act as a question mark to other drivers. You’re asking the vehicles around yours, “can I please switch into your lane?” They can respond by either slowing down or speeding up. You should not treat turn signals as if they were exclamation points announcing your movement into another lane. This is a surefire way to end up in a car accident.
Now that you know the most common traffic violations in Illinois, it’s time for you to put this knowledge into practice. If you’ve received a ticket in Chicago, don’t wait for your insurance rates to go up before seeking professional legal advice. Call Mitchell S. Sexner & Associates LLC today at (312) 644-0444.