Common Traffic Laws and Driving Rules

Each state is allowed to pass laws that govern their own roads, but most traffic laws are the same across the United States. Traffic lights and traffic signs are all uniform and mean the same thing throughout. While some traffic sign designs can be changed slightly by the state itself, they are not able to change enough from the base standard set forth by the Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD). 


Rules Of The Road That Are The Same In Most Every State

You Must Have Auto Insurance

Almost every single state in America requires a driver to hold auto insurance on their vehicle. This is done so that every driver is considered to have financial responsibility if an accident should occur. 


Driving Under The Influence

Driving under the influence of alcohol is a big no-no in every state throughout the U.S.. A blood alcohol (BAC) is set at .08 in every state. 


Seat Belt Laws

Throughout the United States you must wear a seat belt when operating a motor vehicle. This is the law and a driver can be pulled over by a police officer for not wearing a seatbelt. You can also be issued a traffic violation summons (ticket) for not wearing a seatbelt. 


School Bus Safety

Another law and rule of the road that pertains to all drivers throughout the U.S. is stopping for a school bus. If a school bus has stopped and has their flashing red lights on and side ‘STOP’ sign extended, then a driver must stop. This means that children are entering or exiting the bus. Passing a stopped school bus that is waiting for children to enter or exit carries big traffic fines and in some cases, even jail time. 


Turning Right On Red

Turning right on a red light is a driving maneuver that is allowed in all states. The only time you can’t turn right on red is if there is signage that states otherwise and that it is prohibited. 


Traffic Laws That Are Common

You Must Keep Right On The Highway

When driving on the highway, you must always keep right unless you are passing a vehicle. Once a vehicle is passed and there is room to move back over to the right most lane, a driver must do so. 

Using A Cellphone While Driving

Just about every single state has some sort of rule or traffic law about using a cellphone while operating a motor vehicle. Most states will impose hefty fines if a driver is caught using a cellphone without a hands free device while driving. 


Speed Limits

Every state has maximum speed limit signs posted throughout each roadway and highway. These speed limits set the president for speed and control of a vehicle. If a driver is driving faster than the posted speed limit, they can be pulled over and issued a citation. In addition, in most states, if a driver is driving 30 miles an hour or more over the speed limit, that can be considered criminal and the driver can be arrested. 


Obtaining A Driving Learner’s Permit

Most states are the same in regards to the age range that one can obtain a driver’s learning permit. That age is typically 15 to 16. However, in some states, a learner’s permit can be obtained at the age of 14. 


Simple Color Chart Of Road Sign Meanings
Red – Only used on STOP signs & Yield Signs

Yellow – Used as a warning sign color

Green – This color indicates movement, or guidance in regards to direction. A green ‘GO’ traffic light, or green highway signs indicating an exit. 

Blue – Typically lets drivers know about upcoming rest areas or stopping points

Orange – Used for construction, detours or road work areas. 

Brown – Used for tourist attractions, scenic pull-offs or recreation areas. 

Bright Yellow/Green – Used for school zone crossings, or pedestrian/bike crosswalks. 

White Background/Black Lettering – Used as regulatory signs, like speed limit signs.