My son “forgot” to submit his housing request last year at Bowie State University so he is now a commuter and despite my objections, he had to take his car down to Maryland. In addition to these items, as written in a previous post, the last thing I wanted him to take was his car, a 2007 BMW 335I. However, unless, he was going to take mass transportation back and forth to campus, he needed his car.
Unfortunately, my son has been stopped and marked by the local police, however, that is another story for a different day, (#pleasepray). Last week he had to go to court on several charges as part of a speeding violation and I am thankful for the representation from Legal Shield, as they are helping him with the situation.
As a member of Legal Shield, we are sent emails and newsletters and I wanted to share one of the latest ones – 9 tips for Safe Driving and Dealing with Traffic Tickets since the holidays is an active time for when moving violations are more likely to occur.
9 Tips for Safe Driving and Dealing with Traffic Tickets
Traffic accidents and citations increase around the holidays. The best way to avoid accidents and trips to traffic court is to drive safely and know what to do if you are pulled over. If you do receive a ticket, LegalShield has you covered. Snap is a feature of the LegalShield app that allows you to take a picture of your traffic ticket with your smartphone and send it directly to your LegalShield provider law firm.
Here are some tips for staying safe on the road and what to do if you are pulled over.
- Watch your speed. Driving too fast is one sure way to end up in an accident or with a ticket. In recent years, many states and provinces have tightened their laws on reckless driving. If you are caught exceeding a threshold speed, you may be charged criminally, rather than with a simple traffic citation. The penalties for reckless driving may include substantial fines, license suspension and even jail time for repeat offenders.
- Never drink and drive. Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol puts your life and the lives of others in grave danger. Even blood alcohol levels below your state’s legal limit can impair your driving and increase your chance of injury or death in an accident. First offenses of DUI or DWI may land you in jail and leave you with a criminal record. The best way to avoid DUI or DWI accidents and criminal charges is to avoid drinking and driving altogether.
- Never text or email while driving. Texting or using a smartphone while driving is now illegal in several states and many localities and may not only earn you a traffic ticket but also injure or kill you. Numerous studies have shown that texting or using your smartphone while driving substantially increases your chance of injury or death. The number of injuries and deaths caused by distracted drivers has skyrocketed in recent years. Avoid serious injury and death (and tickets) by always safely pulling to the side of the road and stopping before texting or using your smartphone.
- Know how to handle a traffic stop. Being pulled over by the police can be a nerve-racking experience. Pull safely off the road, turn your interior light on at night, keep your hands on the steering wheel, be polite and cooperative with the police officer. Comply with the officer’s requests for your name, driver’s license, registration, and insurance information. Do not exit the vehicle unless you are directed to do so by the officer. You do not have to consent to a search of your car. If the officer searches over your objection, stay calm, tell the officer you object to the search and do not physically resist the search.
- If you receive a ticket, use Snap to send the ticket to your LegalShield provided law firm. Make sure the image is legible before submitting to the attorney. Once received, your LegalShield provider law firm will process the information and call you within 8 business hours. Submitting your ticket right away helps ensure an attorney is available for your court date and has plenty of time to prepare your case. If you have questions or do not hear back from your LegalShield provider law firm within 8 business hours, you may call them directly. If you do not have the app, you may download it from the iTunes or Android store today or call your provider firm directly to speak with an attorney.
- Be prepared for the difficult weather. If you are driving in wet or icy weather, allow yourself extra time and drive with caution. If you are particularly uncomfortable driving in bad weather, stay off the road until conditions improve.
- Make sure you have the right car seat for your child. It is extremely important to protect your children by ensuring they are in the appropriate car seat for their age and size. Most states and provinces have strict laws regarding child safety seats. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration offers a great resource to help parents ensure their children are protected. Click here to visit their website.
- Think twice before running a light. Running a red light may save you a few seconds, but it puts you, your passengers and other drivers around you at risk of serious injury or death. Drivers running red lights cause nearly 1,000 deaths and 90,000 injuries each year in the United States. Red light traffic cameras are now used throughout the U.S. and Canada, so even if you escape injury, you may not escape a ticket.
- Follow at a safe distance. In ideal road conditions, you should leave at least 3 seconds between you and the car in front of you. If you are hauling a heavy load or driving in wet or icy conditions, leave at least 7 or 8 seconds between you and the car ahead of you. Rear-enders cause nearly as many deaths and injuries per year as intersection collisions.
Let’s Chat: Have you or any member of your family had difficulties when pulled over by a police officer?