Every driver must have a valid driver’s license in the United States. A driver’s license is not only a privilege but also a responsibility. As a licensed driver, you have certain rights and responsibilities. By now, you’ve probably taken your permit and behind-the-wheel driving tests and received your license. Congratulations! But Now What? Although you may feel like you finally have the world at your fingertips, certain rights and responsibilities come along with being licensed. Here are just a few things you should know
Drivers are still citizens and have all the same rights as anyone else, including:
Drive on any public road or highway
Licensed drivers have the right to drive on any public road or highway. This includes all interstates, highways, and roads maintained by state, county, or local governments. Drivers must obey all traffic laws and regulations while driving. They are also responsible for ensuring their vehicles are in safe operating condition. If a driver is involved in an accident, they must stop and exchange information with the other driver. Failing to do so can result in fines and points on their license. Drivers who violate traffic laws can also have their licenses suspended or revoked.
Operate a motor vehicle
A driver’s license is more than just a piece of paper; it’s a privilege with certain rights and responsibilities. Perhaps most importantly, it gives the holder the right to operate a motor vehicle. This means that, as long as a driver has a valid license, they can get behind the wheel of a car, truck, or motorcycle.
Drive without fear of being pulled over
As long as drivers obey traffic laws and regulations, they can drive without fear of being pulled over by law enforcement. However, suppose a police officer has probable cause to believe a driver has committed a traffic violation. In that case, they may pull the driver over. The officer will then issue a citation if they determine the driver violated a law.
Of course, with these rights come specific responsibilities. Here are a few:
Never drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol
DUI charges are serious business. If you are convicted of DUI, you will likely face substantial fines and penalties, including the possibility of jail time. In addition, you will almost certainly lose your driving privileges for some time. You may also be required to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle. DUI convictions stay on your record for a long time, making it difficult to get insurance or find a job. If you are facing DUI charges, you must seek the advice of a lawyer as soon as possible. A DUI lawyer can review the facts of your case and help you understand your options. Never drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol. It’s not worth the risk.
Follow all traffic laws
Traffic laws are what keep people safe on the road. When drivers break traffic laws, they put themselves and others at risk. Speeding, for example, is one of the most common causes of accidents. In 2016, speeding was a factor in 27% of all fatal crashes in the United States. That’s why it’s so important to follow the posted speed limit. Other common traffic violations include running red lights, failing to yield, and making illegal turns. All of these can lead to accidents.
Respect the rights of other drivers
It’s crucial to remember that there are other drivers on the road, and they have a right to be there just as much as you do. That means respecting their space and not putting them in danger. For example, aggressive driving, such as tailgating or cutting off other drivers, is not only rude, but it’s also dangerous. If you see someone driving aggressively, the best thing to do is to get out of their way.
Pay attention to the road
Driving requires your full attention. You can’t afford to be distracted, even for a moment. In most states, it’s illegal to text or use a cell phone while driving. It’s also essential to avoid other distractions, such as talking to passengers, eating, or adjusting the radio. If you’re not paying attention to the road, you could miss something important, like a stop sign or a pedestrian crossing the street.
As a licensed driver in the United States, you have rights and responsibilities on the roadways. You must understand both your rights and your responsibilities so that you can stay safe while driving. If you ever feel like your rights have been violated or are unsure of your responsibilities, be sure to consult with an attorney who can advise you further. Drive safe!