There are some basic rules of driving that are true for all states. For example, all states require that drivers drive on the right side of the road and obey the speed limits. There are differences among the states, however, when it comes to the more detailed aspects of driving. It's important that you know the driving laws of the state you live in, and check the laws each time you move or decide to travel through another state. FindLaw's State Traffic Laws section provides information about the traffic laws and driving rules in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Some of the information you'll find in this section includes each state's online vehicle code, links to statutes for common traffic violations, and state-specific driving manuals.
Laws Common to All States
There are some driving laws that are common to all states. For example, every state requires drivers to have a valid driver's license and to register their car. But, the requirements and procedure of how to get a license and register your car can vary from state to state. It's also safe to say that all states have laws outlawing speeding, running red lights, and leaving the scene of an accident. Finally, all states have laws that make it illegal to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol while driving.
It's important to realize that while each state has laws about the basic rules of driving, the details of the laws probably vary from state to state. For example, while the speed limit on a freeway in one state might be 65 mph, another state's speed limit on a freeway could be 70 mph. The punishment for violating these laws will also usually vary from state to state.
The Driver's License Point System
One system that is used in pretty much every state is the driver's license point system. This system assigns point values to each type of traffic offense. The reason behind this system is to allow each state's motor vehicle department to keep track of people's driving records. Each state chooses how many points to each traffic offense, but usually higher point values are assigned to more serious offenses.
There are consequences to accumulating too many points on your license, especially in a short period of time. The state motor vehicle department can suspend your license if there are too many points on it. Your car insurance company can also raise your premiums based on your driving record.
Hiring a Lawyer
Learning about your state's traffic laws doesn't really require the help of a lawyer. You might feel differently, however, if you've received a traffic ticket. While you can generally take care of a traffic ticket without an attorney, if you have questions or would like to learn about your legal options, you might want to consult with a traffic ticket attorney. If you're facing more serious charges, such as a DUI or felony hit and run, you should probably contact a criminal defense attorney.