Did you know that it’s illegal to drive while wearing flip-flops?
Or that a cop will totally let you out of a ticket if he or she forgets to tell you how fast you were going?
Plus, you can never, ever be at fault if someone rear-ends you.
Nope. Nope. Nope. If you believe all that, it’s probably time you tuned into CarStuff’s “Common Traffic Misconceptions” episode, where hosts Scott Benjamin and Ben Bowlin remind you that just because you heard it doesn’t mean it’s true. Along with some of the more oft-repeated rumors, they also discuss some of the things that drivers tend to get wrong.
Let’s start with merging. Perhaps you’re one of those very polite drivers who, upon seeing a sign warning of an upcoming lane closure, will switch as soon as you can into the unclosed lanes. You congratulate yourself for being prepared and then throw daggers at the drivers at the very end of the lane who want to zip right out of the fast-approaching lane closure. Bad news: You’re doing it wrong. Not only is it more efficient to wait until the last merge and then deposit yourself in an orderly fashion between cars, it’s actually the way it’s supposed to work. That’s because the maximum number of lanes are used for as long as possible, making the process smoother and more efficient. (You can read more about zipper merging, if you’re curious.)
Now let’s talk tickets, shall we? First, a traffic cop doesn’t have to be wearing a certain uniform to give you a ticket. A cop can give you a traffic ticket in plainclothes or any variation of uniform. Second, the officer doesn’t have to show you the radar gun with your clocked speed to give you a speeding violation. Third, the officer actually doesn’t have to use a radar gun to pull you over for speeding.
Here’s another big one: If you get a traffic ticket and don’t live in the state, you do not have a get-out-of-jail-free card. If you don’t pay your fine and then subsequently don’t show up in court, a bench warrant is issued. That warrant follows you no matter where you live or travel. So, if you’re pulled over for a burned-out taillight in Michigan, the police are going to run your name and find out that you have a warrant for speeding in Minnesota.
There are many, many more misconceptions where those came from. So tune in as Ben and Scott explain to you all the ways you’re doing it wrong behind the wheel on this episode of CarStuff.