How well do you really know the rules of the road?



By: Maria Trimarchi

6 Min Quiz

Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

As many as 35 percent of U.S. drivers admit to driving too fast. And 19 percent admit to cutting off other motorists -- on a daily basis. But what about the traffic laws you may not even know you're breaking? See if you're a good driver, or just think you are.

If you and another car pull up to a four-way stop at the same time, who has the right of way?

If you've stopped at the same time and the other car is on your right, that car goes first.


What's a "California Stop"?

Not coming to a complete stop -- speedometer all the way to 0 -- at a stop sign is called a "California Stop."


To be extra safe on the highway, you like to set your car's cruise control to 15 mph under the speed limit. What could you be cited for?

Not following the speed limit in some states -- including California, Hawaii and Nevada -- could get you ticketed for impeding traffic.


If you find yourself driving in Sweden, by law you must have what on, no matter what time of day you're on the road?

Drivers are expected to drive with headlights on, every time, at any time of the day.


If your windshield wipers are on, what else should be on?

If you need to use your car's windshield wipers, you also need to turn on your headlights for safety.


If you're traveling in the left-hand lane on the highway and cars are going faster than you in the right lane, what should you do?

The left lane is the passing lane, so if you're not overtaking another car, you should move into the right lane.


If you have an air-freshening pine tree hanging from your rearview mirror, you're breaking the law in which state?

Air fresheners, fuzzy dice or anything else hanging from your rearview mirror can get you fined in New Jersey.


What kind of trouble could you be in if you forget to wear your seatbelt in New Hampshire?

None. New Hampshire has passenger safety laws for kids under 18, but the state has no official seat belt laws for adults.


You know you're supposed to look both ways when you cross the street, but did you know you're supposed to look in this direction first?

If you're a pedestrian crossing a two-way street, look to your left first.


At least how much time should go by between the time the car in front of you passes a stationary object, such as a tree or sign, and the time when you pass it?

Tailgating is a moving violation, but using the three-second rule can help drivers avoid following too closely.


What's the best thing to do when you're being followed too closely by another car?

Tapping your brake before you slow down, changing lanes or letting the other car pass by slowing down or pulling over, are all smart options when you're being tailgated.


More than 25 percent of drivers don't use turn signals when turning. And 50 percent don't signal before a lane change. For how long should the indicator be on before you turn or merge?

Give other vehicles around you a five-second warning that you'll be turning.


In Germany, it's illegal to run out of gas while driving your car on the Autobahn. Where in Ohio is that also true (minus the Autobahn, that is)?

Youngstown, Ohio, would like you to plan ahead, and please don't run out of gas in their town. It's a misdemeanor, if you do.


Passing across a double yellow line is against the law in most states. But where is it legal when there's no oncoming traffic?

If there's no oncoming traffic, it's safe and legal to pass that slow car in front of you while you're on the road in Vermont.


If your lane comes to an end and you must merge, who has the right of way?

The traffic in the lane you're merging into has the right of way.


If you were to take a B&B tour of Ireland, would you drive your rental car on the left side of the road or the right?

Vehicles are driven on the right side of the road in most countries, but not in Ireland.


You're surely not the only one not following this law: When you drive at night in Illinois, you're expected to have what preceding your car?

This long-outdated law states that you need to have a companion if you drive at night, carrying a lantern and walking (yes, on foot) ahead of your vehicle.


Drivers in Texas have to have windshield wipers on their vehicles in order to register them, but what part is optional?

This law requires cars have windshield wipers, but there is no law that your vehicle has to have a windshield.


It's illegal to do what in the streets of Dunn, North Carolina?

In Dunn, North Carolina, it's illegal to, "play any games of any description upon the streets or sidewalks of the city."


What's the minimum driving age in the U.S.?

In the majority of states, teens can get a driver's license at 16. South Dakota, though, has the youngest minimum driving age. Legally licensed drivers there are as young as 14 years, 3 months.


What is a "Michigan Left"?

A "Michigan Left" is a left turn, but it's actually a right turn. It goes like this, instead of turning left, you turn right (or continue straight) , followed by a U-turn. It sounds more complicated than it is, and one study found it can improve your travel time by as much as 20 percent.


How many days could you spend in jail if you screech your tires in Derby, Kansas?

Thirty. You could spend up to 30 days in jail in Kansas.


While each state has its own flavor of this one, what are the basic rules under the Move Over Law?

Move Over Laws, generally speaking, are rules about making room for emergency vehicles, either by moving over or slowing down, as you drive by.


While we're not sure why you'd need to, it's illegal to drive your car in reverse where in Arizona?

Please do not drive in reverse on the public roads of Arizona.


You could be in trouble if you drive what color car on Lake Street in Minneapolis, Minnesota?

Again, another one that seems awfully hard to enforce. But if you have a red car, maybe take a different route.


It's hard to imagine this one being enforced, but there's a law in New Jersey that requires drivers do what before passing another vehicle?

How many times have you honked before passing another car while driving in New Jersey? Yeah, us too.


Pedestrians have the right of way at marked crosswalks. But what about a pedestrian crossing outside of a designated crossing area?

Any person who's crossing anywhere that's not in a marked crosswalk, or at a controlled intersection, should yield the right of way to oncoming traffic.


You're banned from applying for what if you're convicted of driving under the influence in New Jersey?

Getting a DUI in New Jersey means, in addition to other corrective action, no more personalized plates.


In Montana, it's illegal to drive more than 10 what at a time on an interstate unless flagmen lead and follow?

It's against the law to drive more than 10 of your cattle and other livestock on an interstate, unless you have an escort in front and behind you, to alert motorists.


While this should probably be self-explanatory, it's illegal to drive while wearing what in Alabama?

Please don't drive while wearing a blindfold in Alabama. And anywhere else, really.


In California, it's illegal for any vehicle without a driver to exceed 60 mph. But if you want to jump from your car in Glendale, California, it's legal up to what speed?

It's against the law to jump from your car at 65 mph (or faster).


What happens in Las Vegas, stays in Las Vegas. But, they'd appreciate you not riding which animal while you're there?

It's illegal to ride a camel on the highways of Nevada.


What is a "hard brake"?

Hard braking is what it's called when you slam your foot on the brake, narrowly avoiding a fender bender. Progressive Insurance defines it, specifically, as any condition where your car decelerates faster than 7 mph per second.


Because hybrid and electric cars are silent, what was added to meet federal safety standards?

Fake engine noise was added to silent hybrid and electric vehicles to protect pedestrians.


In Decatur, Illinois, you could be ticketed for leaving home without your car's what?

It's against the law to drive a vehicle without a steering wheel in Decatur. Probably pretty difficult, too.


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