Even if you consider yourself a safe driver, you still may be likely to violate the law every now and again. For example, the speed limit is 70 mph, but you have been known to push the limit and go 75.

Understanding the most common traffic violations can help keep you safe, as you’ll have a clearer idea of what police are watching for. Here are some violations to avoid at all times:

  • Speeding: Every police officer has their eyes open for speeders, so make sure you know the limit and drive at or below it. This holds true on all types of roads, ranging from interstates to city streets.
  • Running a red light: Not only is this a traffic violation, but it increases the risk of an accident. If a light is red, hit your brakes and stop before reaching the intersection.
  • Distracted driving: This comes in many forms, such as texting, talking on the phone, eating, drinking and smoking. Police are on the lookout for distracted drivers, as this behavior is responsible for many accidents, injuries and deaths across the state every year.
  • Neglecting to stop for a school bus: If a school bus driver activates their sign, it’s a must that you stop. This holds true regardless of your proximity to the bus. This is one of the most serious traffic violations, as it puts young children at risk of being struck by your vehicle.
  • Neglecting to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks: For instance, when driving in a city setting, you’ll spot pedestrians everywhere. It’s your responsibility as a driver to yield to them in crosswalks, as doing so helps keep them safe.

These aren’t the only traffic violations, but they’re definitely among the most common. If you’re pulled over for one of these, provide the officer with the requested information, ask what you did wrong and remain police throughout the stop.

If you receive a traffic ticket, don’t immediately pay it. Instead, review it for mistakes and compare it to your version of what went wrong on the road.

With the right defense strategy, you can protect your legal rights and potentially have your ticket dismissed or the penalty reduced.