Driving offers us all freedom to go where we want when we want. Unfortunately, there are a large number of laws out there that whittle away at the level of freedom we have to drive how we want. Of course, the vast majority are pretty sensible and make good sense. Wearing a seatbelt and being sober enough to actually steer the car seem like good ideas for driving laws. Then there are those weird and wonderful driving laws that don’t seem quite so obvious or even necessary:

In Missouri, the humble horn of your car could become obsolete. It appears there is a law in University City that forbids you from sounding your horn at other vehicles. Many drivers around the world use that honk to notify other drivers they’re being idiots. How on earth can be adequately rude and obnoxious without it? In contrast, residents of New Jersey are obliged by law to honk their car horns before passing another vehicle!

A little known, and perhaps not entirely observed law in Scituate, New York is one that forbids you carrying beer in your vehicle. This might be a genuine attempt to reduce the incidents of drink driving. Or maybe it’s some weird and wonderful way to put dry cleaners out of business by removing the incidents of spills? Maybe not. It is illegal to drive with beer, even if unopened.

Now for a not-so-useful law. In Alabama, it is illegal to drive whilst blindfolded. Makes sense, but surely, it is also common sense? What on earth was going on when it became necessary to make that a law? In Alaska, think twice before tying your dog to the roof of your car. There, it is illegal, and feeling the full force of the law could be almost as unpleasant as your poor dog’s experience. And in Eureka, roll over to the verge before falling asleep. It is illegal to sleep on a road surface.

So why are there so many weird and wonderful driving laws out there? Most, quite rightly, are there to make sure road users are as safe as possible. Even so, there are thousands of motorists caught on US roads each year breaking the most obvious ones. These are the laws that are there to protect other road users such as drink driving laws and speeding laws. We all have the right to drive without becoming a road accident victim.

If everyone was obeying every law, there might still be accidents. Ultimately focus and concentration are the most important things you need to be safe on the roads. Accident specialists like the Joye Law Firm see dozens of cases of negligence to attention while driving each year. Not all of these involve any laws being broken.

What are the penalties for breaking the law? This can vary wildly from state to state. The penalties also vary depending on the law you’ve broken. If what you’ve done or failed to do causes an accident, then there are other factors to consider. As for the weirdest driving laws? Regardless of how strange they may seem to you, perhaps it’s a good idea to stay on the right side of the law when driving.

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Emily Muelford

Emily is a British writer whose love of car culture is augmented by a fascination with both the European and American automotive markets. Her perspective is uniquely fish and chips.

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