November 16, 2023 | Sammy Tran

Commonly Forgotten Traffic Laws in America

Commonly Forgotten Traffic Laws 

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Traffic laws in America help ensure safe and orderly roadways, but let's be honest, many of us forget or misunderstand some of these rules.

Whether it's due to complacency or simply not being aware, it's essential to refresh our knowledge to keep our roads safe for all.

So, let's take a journey through 10 traffic laws in America that people often forget, with a friendly reminder to help us become better-informed drivers.

No U-Turns Near Intersections

Traffic signderek, Adobe Stock

You're cruising down the road, and you suddenly realize you missed your turn at the last intersection. It might be tempting to whip out a quick U-turn, but be careful.

Most states prohibit making U-turns near intersections, especially if they are controlled by traffic lights or signs.

So, next time you miss your turn, stay patient and find a safe place to turn around further down the road.

The 'Move Over' Law

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Many states have 'Move Over' laws requiring drivers to change lanes or slow down when approaching emergency vehicles stopped on the side of the road with their lights flashing.

This law is often forgotten, but it's crucial to protect our first responders and highway workers. So, when you see those flashing lights, make sure to move over and give them the space they need.

Stop for School Buses

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We all know we should stop when a school bus has its red lights flashing and stop sign extended. However, this rule is often ignored.

In the U.S., more than 100 children lose their lives each year while getting on or off school buses. Let's not forget to stop, as the safety of our young passengers is at stake.


Keeping Right Except to Pass

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The left lane on highways is often called the "fast lane," but it's not for cruising. In many states, it's not permitted to hang out in the left lane if you're not actively passing slower traffic.

So, if you're not passing, make room for those who are by moving to the right lanes.

No Texting at Red Lights

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Sure, you might not be moving, but texting at a red light can still be against the law in some states. Distracted driving is a leading cause of accidents, so it's best to put down the phone when you're behind the wheel, even if you're idling at an intersection.

Turn Signals for Lane Changes

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Changing lanes without signaling is not only discourteous, but it's also not permitted by state laws. In most states, you're required to use your turn signals when changing lanes or making a turn. It's a simple act that can prevent accidents and road rage.

Obeying 'No Turn on Red' Signs

Traffic sign at intersectionAlberto GV PHOTOGRAP, Adobe Stock

Those 'No Turn on Red' signs are there for a reason, but they're often overlooked. Disobeying them can lead to accidents or traffic tickets. Always pay attention to posted signs and signals.

Headlights in the Rain

Driving at nightEgor Kamelev, Pexels

Rainy days can make visibility challenging. Some states require drivers to turn on their headlights when it's raining, even during daylight hours. It's a simple step that can improve your visibility and help others see you.

Yield to Pedestrians

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Pedestrians have the right of way in crosswalks, and we often forget this. Remember to stop and yield to pedestrians when they're in a crosswalk, even if you're making a turn.


Right-of-Way Rules

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Right-of-way rules can be a bit confusing, and they often slip our minds. But remember, when in doubt, yield the right of way to prevent accidents. Understanding these rules can help avoid dangerous situations on the road.

Final Thoughts


Traffic laws may sometimes be forgotten, but they're in place for a reason: to keep us all safe. Let's make a conscious effort to refresh our knowledge and be better-informed drivers.

It's a simple step that can make a world of difference on our roads.