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The Consequences of Ignoring Traffic Signs: Ensuring Safe Driving in CA

Have you ever tried slamming on the gas to speed up and catch a yellow light, only to find it turn red before you reach the intersection? Or, maybe you know someone who justifies rolling stops at stop signs, making excuses for breaking the law like, “Don’t worry, it’s late at night. There’s no one else on the road.”

The California Vehicle Code (CVC) strictly defines the rules of the road, with Section 21461a explicitly stating, “It is unlawful for a driver of a vehicle to fail to obey a sign or signal.” Despite these regulations, many people, as illustrated in the anecdotes above, may choose to disregard them in ways they find convenient. However, these laws are intentionally put in place to enhance safety on the often jam-packed roads in Los Angeles and beyond.

In this article, we will explore the risks associated with ignoring traffic signs and clarify what constitutes safe driving in California. In the event you find yourself needing to hire a lawyer for a car accident or road safety issue, remember that our Los Angeles wrongful death law firm has some of the best personal injury attorneys and wrongful death lawyers to help you seek the justice you deserve.

What Constitutes ‘Safe Driving’ in California?

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Various sections of the CVC cover disobeying traffic signals. Some of the regulations that constitute safe driving in California include:

  • Running red lights. CVC Section 21453 prohibits driving through a red traffic signal.
  • Stop sign violations. CVC Section 22450 requires drivers to come to a complete stop at stop signs. (This means no rolling stops!)
  • Yield sign rules. CVC Section 21803 outlines the responsibilities of drivers when approaching and facing a yield sign. It defines the actions that should be taken in yielding the right-of-way to other vehicles until the road is clear.
  • Traffic control devices. CVC Section 21461 addresses the requirement to obey official traffic control devices, which includes following the instructions of road signs and signals.
  • Speed limits. CVC Section 22349 outlines speed limit regulations, such as the duty to drive no faster than 65 mph on the freeway. Exceeding the speed limit can lead to penalties.

While these traffic laws and regulations may seem obvious, it is important to consistently remind yourself of them to prevent car accidents or motorcycle accidents. Not only are accidents a danger to your life and others’, but they can also lead to complicated Los Angeles personal injury or wrongful death cases. Although handling these legal matters is our responsibility, we can assure you that avoiding involvement in such cases is in your best interest!

Yield, Stop, and Slow Down: Avoiding Legal Complications

California traffic laws

Leaving enough time for your daily commute is one crucial step in learning to yield, stop, and slow down on the roads. The less rushed you feel, the more likely you are to drive calmly, cautiously, and at a controlled pace. Ignoring traffic signs significantly increases the risk of a vehicle accident, potentially causing severe harm to both you and other drivers — or, in the worst-case scenario, leading to death.

Additional tips to avoid ignoring traffic signs while driving include:

  • Staying off your phone and avoiding other distractions.
  • Keeping the music volume low to enhance your alertness.
  • Driving at the speed limit to allow for adequate reaction time.
  • Maintaining a safe distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you.
  • Using signals regularly to notify other drivers of your next move.
  • Frequently checking your mirror to increase your situational awareness.

Personal injury or wrongful death cases often result from car crashes or pedestrian accidents. Adhering to traffic signs and signals and following the tips above can serve as a preventative measure, helping you steer clear of legal entanglement and dangerous or life-altering situations.

Contact a Los Angeles Injury Attorney or Wrongful Death Attorney

If you are involved in an accident of any kind, we recommend reaching out to a Los Angeles personal injury or wrongful death attorney immediately.

John J. Perlstein, one of the top personal injury attorneys in Los Angeles, CA, has over 25 years of experience securing fair and just outcomes in personal injury cases. He will ensure accurate compensation for victims of car accidents and other personal injuries. You can reach us at (213) 583-5786.

Alternatively, complete the form on our website to schedule a free consultation with personal injury lawyers (Los Angeles and the surrounding area). This consultation will provide you with an opportunity to discuss your situation with us. We are here to help.


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