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 and other driving 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 driving 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 and other driving 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

  • 15,510 teen drivers ages 16-19 were involved in fatal motor vehicle crashes from 2015-2019. More than one-third of those crashes involved speeding.
  • In 2019, 1,603 young adults (ages 15-20) died in motor vehicle crashes on US roadways, with nearly half (46%) not wearing a seat belt.
  • In 2019, 24% of young drivers (ages 15-20) involved in fatal crashes had blood alcohol concentrations (BACs) of .01 g/dL or higher; 82% of those young drivers who had alcohol in their systems had BACs of .08 g/dL or higher. 
  • In 2018, 6,283 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes, a 3.4% 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.