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Watch out for these weird car laws
Getting a ticket for these 9 crazy car laws could raise your insurance rates.
Some laws aren’t taught in driver’s education, including these odd car laws that leave you wondering how they came about in the first place. But breaking these laws, knowingly or not, could result in a hefty fine. And if breaking one leads to a moving violation or points on your record, you could see your car insurance affected — no matter how strange the law seems.
What's in this guide?
- No loud tires allowed in Kansas
- Don’t pump your own gas in New Jersey
- You can’t leave your car idling unattended in New York
- It’s illegal to drive blindfolded in Alabama
- Contain pets in cars in these 7 states
- Livestock have the right of way in Wisconsin and Connecticut
- Don't flash your high beams in Michigan or Washington
- Scrape off your car before you hit the road
- Car insurance isn’t required in these 4 states
- Compare car insurance providers
- Bottom line
- Common questions about weird car laws
No loud tires allowed in Kansas
Most people know that street racing is illegal, but Kanas went a step further by banning tire squealing and wheel spinning. Perhaps this is one reason why Hollywood never shoots racing movies in the state of Kansas.
Don’t pump your own gas in New Jersey
In New Jersey, you can’t pump gas into your car when you stop to refuel. A 1949 law that many states have since overturned means that a gas station employee will be filling your tank for you if you fill up in New Jersey. New Jersey is the only state to honor this law.
You can’t leave your car idling unattended in New York
In the state of New York, it’s against the law to leave your car running while it’s unattended. This could include waiting for your car to warm up when it’s cold outside, or quickly running into a store and leaving the engine on. If you’re not in the car or directly outside it, technically you’re breaking the law.
Other states have similar laws about leaving your keys in the car, likely to prevent car theft.
It’s illegal to drive blindfolded in Alabama
If you’re driving through Alabama, it may seem obvious that you shouldn’t wear a blindfold while driving. However, it’s illegal in this state, though it’s unclear why this law had to be spelled out in the first place.
Contain pets in cars in these 7 states
Six states have laws that prohibit driving with your dog unrestrained: Wisconsin, Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island. New Hampshire’s law also prohibits driving with a dog in the bed of a pickup truck unless it’s properly caged, while Oregon outlaws driving with animals outside of your vehicle at all, such as in a pickup bed.
Though it’s a commonly cited myth, Massachusetts’ animal transport law does not specify that you can’t drive with gorillas in your vehicle. However, the state does have specific guidelines in place for the safe transport of any animal.
Livestock have the right of way in Wisconsin and Connecticut
Agriculture is big business in the US, which translates into some pretty weird car laws.
It’s illegal in New Mexico to leave the state with any type of farm animal, dead or alive, unless it’s first inspected by the state of New Mexico.
Cows have the right of way on highways in Wisconsin, which could make for some extra-long commutes. And in Connecticut, drivers must slow down or stop for livestock when cattle crossing signs are used.
Don’t flash your high beams in Michigan or Washington
Many states have different laws when it comes to using your headlights, especially flashing headlights. Michigan has made it illegal to flash high beam lights at oncoming traffic up to a distance of 500 ft. It’s illegal up to 500 ft in Washington state as well.
In addition, courts in some states have ruled that it’s okay to warn oncoming drivers. But the rulings can be a bit controversial if the flashes interfere with the other driver’s vision or if the police are investigating a crime.
Scrape off your car before you hit the road
Though they sound weird, new ice missile laws could actually be beneficial to the public. When ice or snow falls off the top of a vehicle that’s traveling down the road, it can cause a severe hazard to any oncoming traffic, including smashed windshields and bodily injury.
These states have laws requiring drivers to remove snow and ice from vehicles before hitting the road.
- New Jersey
- New York
- New Hampshire
- Parts of Ohio
- Rhode Island
Car insurance isn’t required in these 4 states
Arizona doesn’t require you to have auto insurance to legally drive. But to bypass the requirement, you must put up a $40,000 bond to cover any damage that you cause.
New Hampshire is the only state that doesn’t have car insurance requirements for residents of the state. However, you have to prove that either you have insurance or can pay up to $50,000 in injuries and $25,000 in property damage if you get in an accident. If you can’t prove this after an accident, your license could be suspended.
Virginia also allows drivers to avoid car insurance if they pay the state $500 a year, although that fee doesn’t provide any accident coverage.
If you live in the wilderness of Alaska, you also may not have to buy car insurance. The relaxed laws apply to areas that aren’t connected to the state highway system or to driving on roads with an average daily traffic volume of 499 vehicles or less. However, if you received a violation of six or more points within five years, you still need the minimum liability insurance.
Compare car insurance providers
Following the rules of the road is always a good idea, no matter how insignificant the law appears to be. Weird car laws can call this notion into question, but the law is the law. Brush up on the law before your next trip to avoid being pulled over unexpectedly.
And to make sure you’re covered, compare car insurance to cover any unknown you might face on the road.
Common questions about weird car laws
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