Skip to main content

You finally got your kids, spouse, pets, and a freakish amount of cargo loaded up in your car for your trip and get to leave for your family vacation. It would be a real shame for a cop to catch you making a traffic mistake because getting pulled over could ruin the fun. You have to wait for the cop to write your ticket and then face an expensive fine. 

Simple traffic mistakes cops will write tickets for 

Tons of traffic on the highway
Traffic | Getty Images

If you’re traveling for the Fourth of July weekend, be prepared to remain calm and obey traffic laws. More than 50 million Americans are traveling more than 50 miles from home, with roughly 43.2 million hitting the roads. 

People are finally getting out and about after the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, so the roads will be crowded. Cops will be watching to ensure everything goes smoothly and could ticket you for simple traffic mistakes. 

  • Speeding is the most common mistake that drivers can make. Cops write the most tickets for people speeding down highways and roads, so keep an eye out for speed limit signs. 
  • We understand the urge to get around traffic to reach your destination a little faster, but it’s not worth it. Imagine your spouse and children staring at you as the cop knocks on your window!
  • Also, don’t clog the left lane. That is the passing lane, so move over if you aren’t passing someone. Holding up the left lane creates long traffic lines and may lead to people passing in the right lane, which is dangerous. Camping is for the mountains, not the left lane!
  • Having a burnt-out taillight or other visibility issues, such as a broken side mirror, is often a red flag. Cops can easily spot these problems, and they make things unsafe for yourself and those around you. 
  • Don’t forget to buckle up. Make sure you and everyone else in the vehicle are wearing their seatbelt. You know the old saying, click it or ticket. Also, on that note, make sure your kids are in their child seats and are sitting in the proper location if they’re too small for front or rear seats. 
  • Avoid aggressive driving behavior. Road rage is a huge red flag and is easy to detect. Tailgating other vehicles and suddenly cutting across multiple lanes attracts attention. Remember to use your turn signal and give yourself plenty of time to merge without cutting someone off. 
  • Also, put the phone down. Laws regarding cell phone use vary by state. In some, you can’t hold your phone or talk on it because it leads to distracted driving. Put your best copilot in the passenger seat for navigation. 

Cops are looking for impaired drivers 

Sometimes daily events, holiday weekends, and big celebrations lead to drinking. However, drinking and driving is potentially deadly. You need to have a designated driver on hand if you plan to partake. Drunk drivers make plenty of traffic mistakes 

You can also avoid and report drunk drivers by recognizing a few signs. Someone might be under the influence if they suddenly accelerate or slow down for no clear reason, drift across lanes, nearly hit curbs or obstacles, drift off the road, or drive in the wrong lane. 

Drunk drivers may also exhibit erratic braking, drive 10 mph or more under the speed limit, swerve, drive without their headlights on at night, use their turn signals with inconsistent maneuvers, make illeage turns, and overreact to other vehicles around them. 

If you spot a drunk driver, stay as far away from them as possible. Don’t pass them or try to get their attention. Then get their details. Make a note of their license plate number, vehicle color, make, and model. Then call 911. 

What to do if you get pulled over

A policeman writting a ticket for a simple traffic mistake
A policeman writing a ticket | Getty Images

If you get pulled over, even for a traffic mistake you’re unaware of, hit your hazard lights as soon as you see the blue flashing lights or hear the cop’s sirens. Then pull over in a safe spot on the side of the road. Cut your vehicle off, and place the keys on your dash. 

Only roll down your window when you can clearly identify that an actual cop pulled you over. Be patient and polite, and do not raise alarm by exiting your vehicle or moving around in the cab. 

Listen to the cop; they will explain why they pulled you over. Don’t fight them or become defensive. They will need to see your license, insurance card, and registration. Missing one of these documents could prolong things. 

Accept the citation, and the policeman or woman will explain further instructions. Wait until they return to their squad vehicle before safely pulling out into traffic. 

Have a happy 4th of July weekend; we hope your trip goes smoothly. Have fun, be safe, and avoid simple traffic mistakes. Cops are out there watching and waiting.