Texas law enforcement issued fewer traffic citations in 2021 than in the year before. That's great news! But there were still a lot of traffic stops — 1,687,895 in total. And while most drivers got off with a warning, almost 500,000 received citations.
If you want to avoid getting a ticket, this list is for you. Here is what you should watch out for when hitting the road in the Lone Star State.
6 Common Traffic Citations in Texas
The state of Texas doesn't publish a comprehensive yearly report on the types of traffic citations issued each year. But we can look at 2021 crash reports and holiday periods and conclude that these traffic laws are frequently broken.
1. Driving Over the Speed Limit
There's a reason why speeding is illegal. Driving over the posted speed limit increases your chances of getting into an accident. Unfortunately, 1,522 people died in speed-related crashes in 2021 alone. You can count on law enforcement to fine drivers who speed to avoid deaths on the road.
2. Disregarding a Light or Stop Sign
Drivers who run red lights and disrespect stop signs cause a fair chunk of Texas accidents every year. Avoid getting a ticket for something as silly as this by reading up on what to do at a traffic light. And remember, a stop sign means stop, not just slow down.
3. Seatbelt and Child Seat Violations
Buckling up isn't a safe driving tip you can ignore. In Texas, it's the law. The "Click It or Ticket" campaign has been going on for 20 years and handed out a lot of citations in recent years. Still, 1,219 people died in 2021 because they didn't buckle up. Wear your seatbelt at all times, or risk a $200 fine and court fees.
4. Distracted Driving
There were almost 100,000 crashes due to distracted driving in 2021. Between(illegally) texting and driving, falling asleep at the wheel, or being lost in one's thoughts, distracted driving is more dangerous than you may realize. Not only could it get you involved in a fatal crash, but it will also set you back hundreds of dollars in fines.
5. Changing Lanes Recklessly
Plenty of drivers receive citations every year for not changing lanes safely. It can be tricky when there's so much happening on the road, but following the right of way is crucial. Always double check the lane you're moving into is clear, match the flow of traffic speed, and signal to avoid a citation.
6. Driving Under the Influence
The legal alcohol blood level is 0.08%. Drivers with a higher concentration are considered legally impaired. DUI charges are some of the most severe in the Southern state, with fines as high as $2,000 for a first offense and mandatory prison time. Not to mention all the other costs of a DUI.
Clean Up Your Record with Defensive Driving
Lots of drivers get traffic citations at some point in their lives. It doesn't have to be the end of the world, especially since there are ways of keeping it off your record. Taking a defensive driving class will make you a better driver and ensure your one driving mistake doesn't follow you as you get older. Aceable offers Texas state-approved defensive driving courses you can take fully online and at your own pace. Complete the course and you'll be on your way as a safer driver!