Brushing up on traffic laws is always a good idea. So many things get forgotten after you first take a driver’s education course, and many laws change over the years. The experienced team from Altra Insurance Services, a premier provider of auto insurance Chula Vista San Diego drivers trust for high-quality service and reliable, affordable coverage, offer this list of eight traffic laws that are essential for helping you stay safe on the road and avoid a dreaded citation.
1. Don’t Use a Handheld Cell Phone while Driving
It’s so tempting to grab your cell phone to check a map or call someone for directions. However, handheld phone use while driving is banned in 25 states, including California. Other states have partial-use laws that include not allowing texting and driving. It’s better to pull over to use your phone, especially since it’s hard to keep up with the different laws in each state during a road trip.
2. Stop for School Buses
You should always use caution whenever you see a vehicle transporting children, but school buses have additional legal protections. When you see these buses flashing red lights or loading and unloading children, you’re required to stop your car. Waiting a few seconds could save a life.
3. Slow Traffic Keeps Right
On major freeways and public highways, there’s a specific protocol for which lane you drive in. You’ll need to stay in the right lane if you plan to drive on the slower side of the speed limit. Those who are passing use the left lane. Just remember to move out of the left lane once you finish passing vehicles and go back to cruising along.
4. Use Your Turn Signal
You may have a lot going on when you decide to change lanes, but no one knows what you’re doing unless you use your turn signal. Most people will remember to do this on the freeway, but you should also signal your intentions to other drivers in parking lots and on neighborhood streets.
5. Move Over for Emergency Vehicles
Fire trucks, ambulances, and police vehicles all have the right of way on the roads when their sirens are blaring and their lights are flashing. Your job is to simply move safely over to the side of the road so the path is clear. This is also a good reminder of why you should keep the radio at a low volume. You’ll often hear the sirens long before you see the vehicle, which helps you avoid having to scramble out of the way.
6. Drive for the Weather Conditions
The posted speed limit on a road might be 70 mph, but this doesn’t mean you have to go that fast in inclement weather. In fact, California law requires you to match your driving speed to the prevailing weather conditions. This can be hard to gauge, but you can aim for at least three seconds of time between when you see an object and when your car passes it on days with poor visibility.
7. Stay within the Speed Limit
Even on days with good weather, you should avoid straying too far from the posted speed limit. Speed limit signs aren’t suggestions—they’re reminders of the law. Make sure to go the posted limit or no more than five miles per hour less than what you see on the sign. Driving too slow could also get you pulled over, since it poses a risk for accidents.
8. Know How to Handle Four-Way Stops
People often use hand signals to wave other drivers forward at four-way stops, but it’s more important to be predictable than nice on the road. The law states the first person to stop should go first. If two cars stop at the same time, the one on the right has the right of way.
In addition to knowing and following traffic laws, you need to make sure you’re covered by dependable auto insurance in the event of an accident. If you’re looking for reliable car insurance and high-quality service, call on the trustworthy agents from Altra Insurance Services. We can also provide you with motorcycle, renters, and home insurance San Diego residents should give us a call today at (800) 719-9972.