Rules of the Road
obey traffic laws

Obey Traffic Laws

The rules of the road vary depending on the state in which you are driving. No matter the state, it’s crucial to obey traffic laws to help prevent motor vehicle crash-related deaths and injuries.

Key topics we address in this section of Teen Driver Source are speeding, seat belt use, and impaired driving, including the new laws regarding legal marijuana use, both recreational and medicinal.  If every motor vehicle occupant used a seat belt on every trip, every driver followed speed limits, and no person got behind the wheel while impaired, thousands of lives could be saved each year. Obeying traffic laws helps keep everyone safe on the road.


In 1966, the U.S. enacted the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act (Pub.L. 89–563) to empower the federal government to set and administer new safety standards for motor vehicles and road traffic safety.

More Obey Traffic Laws Statistics

  • In 2018, 36,560 people were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes on US roadways, a 2.4 percent decrease from 37,473 in 2017.

  • Of the young drivers with known seat belt use who died in motor vehicle crashes in 2017, 47 percent were unrestrained at the time of the crashes. 

  • In 2017, 1,830 young drivers ages 15 to 20 years old died in motor vehicle crashes, a 4 percent decrease from 2016. 

  • In 2017, 24 percent of young drivers ages 15 to 20 years old who were killed in motor vehicle crashes had blood alcohol concentrations (BACs) of .01 g/dL or higher; 82 percent of those young drivers had BACs of .08 g/dL or higher. It is illegal for anyone in the US under age 21 to drink any alcohol.

  • In 2018, 6,283 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes, a 3.4 percent increase from 2017 and the highest number in 28 years. 

  • In 2018, 857 pedalcyclists were killed in traffic crashes, a 6.3 percent increase and the highest number since 1990.

Pick Your Practice

With a couple of clicks, think about what skills you would like to practice first as a learner driver, and we’ll point you to videos and tips on how to practice them. Take this online driving quiz to Pick Your Practice!

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