7 Common Traffic Violations and How to Avoid Them

July 28th, 2017 by

Staying safe out on the road comes down to more than vehicle safety ratings. Cars, trucks, SUVs, and other vehicle types all share the road, and arriving at your destination requires cooperation. And that means you, the driver, have a responsibility to abide by the rules of the road too. Think back to a time where you’ve seen a driver who is not paying attention or following the rules of the road – at times it can be pretty frustrating. Today, I’m covering some of Minnesota’s most common traffic violations and sharing tips on how to keep yourself, your passengers, and other drivers safe.

The Most Common Traffic Violations in Minnesota

7 Common Traffic Violations and How to Avoid Them1. Driving Without Insurance

In the state of Minnesota, driving without insurance is illegal. There are varying levels of insurance coverage, with some motorists choosing to have higher degrees of coverage. At the very least, drivers should have their vehicles insured with liability, personal injury, uninsured motorist, and underinsured motorist protection. You can learn more about Minnesota’s insurance requirements here

2. Passing an Emergency Vehicle

Passing emergency vehicles like police cars, ambulances, and fire trucks when they are parked and have their lights flashing is not the same as passing just any parked vehicle. In order to pass these vehicles safely – and legally – it’s important to move your vehicle to the lane furthest away from the emergency vehicle. A good rule of thumb is to give one full lane of space between yourself and the emergency vehicle when passing. In instances where giving a full lane of space is unrealistic, slow your vehicle to at least half the posted speed limit and provide as much space as possible. 

3. School Bus Stop Arm Violation

Passing a school bus on the road is allowed, unless the driver has extended the stop arm. When the stop arm is extended, drivers should stop at least 20 feet behind the bus to allow space and safety for bus passengers, oftentimes school-aged children, the opportunity to enter or exit the bus safely. Failure to do so not only breaks the law, but it endangers the safety of the school bus passengers. 

4. Hit and Run

A hit and run occurs when a driver leaves the scene of an accident. By law, persons involved in an accident must stop their vehicle and remain at the scene until law enforcement arrives. And it doesn’t just refer to when one vehicle hits another. Hit and run also applies to situations where a driver leaves the scene after having an accident with a pedestian, cyclist, or property. 


Careless driving refers to driving in ways that disregards the rights of others or is likey to put people or property in danger. Reckless driving is similar, and it also includes reckless driving decisions like “racing” with other vehicles on the road. 

6. Distracted Driving (Includes Texting!)

While texting may be the most common occurance of distracted driving nowadays, other qualifying actions include programming your GPS, applying makeup, reading a book, and excessively changing the radio. Really, distracted driving can be applied to anytime the driver is dedicating their attention to an activity that isn’t driving. While young drivers may be the most at-risk demographic for distracted driving, drivers of all ages stand to benefit from focusing on the road and allowing other tasks to wait until the vehicle is safely parked. 

7. Speeding

Most stretches of road have posted speed limits to notify drivers of what the speed limit is. Speeding occurs whenever a driver goes faster than the posted limit. However, speed limits can change conditionally. One condition that can alter speed limits that Minnesotan drivers know all too well is driving in poor weather conditions. When roads are icy, slippery, or otherwise dangerous, it is within the law for the speed limit to temporarily be lowered for safety purposes. 

These Violations are Preventable

As I was working my way through these common traffic violations, one thing kept coming to mind: preventability. Each of these violations occur as the result of choices made by the driver. But when it comes to the choices you make on the road, think about whether those choices keep you, your passengers, and the other drivers as safe as possible. 


Posted in Uncategorized