Road Rules That Every Maryland Driver Should Know
Driving has become the foremost method of travel and is often seen as a sign of freedom. Ask any teenager who just got their license!
But, while it does leave us free to go places and do great things, there are still some rules we have to follow if we want to stay on the road.
Driving laws differ based on the state. For example, did you know that in Maryland, drivers under the age of 18 aren’t allowed to use Bluetooth or hands-free devices while driving? Or that you’re not actually allowed to hang items from your rearview mirror?
So whether you’ve lived here all your life, or you’ve just moved to the area, here are a few Maryland road rules that every driver should definitely be aware of.
Licenses and Permits
Every Maryland driver is required to hold a driver’s license or a learner’s permit. Maryland takes this law very seriously. Driving without a license can lead to a fine, points, and even jail time.
The first step is to obtain a learner’s permit. To do this:
- You have to be at least 15 years and 9 months old
- If you’re under 16, you need to provide verification of identity and/or school attendance form
- If you’re under 18, a parent or guardian must sign the application form
- You have to pass a vision screening and a knowledge test
Once you’ve received your learner’s permit, you must be accompanied by an adult 21 years or older who has held a license for a minimum of 3 years whenever you’re driving a vehicle. And they must be in the front passenger’s seat.
To get your driver’s license:
- You must be at least 16 years and 6 months old
- You have to complete the minimum holding period
- You have to complete the required number of supervised driving hours
- You have to attend 30 classroom and 6 behind-the-wheel hours in driver’s education
- You have to pass the MVA provisional driver’s skills test
The minimum holding period and the required number of supervised driving hours depend on your age and moving violation history. If you commit a moving violation while holding a learner’s permit, your holding period will be extended by nine months.
Remember to schedule your driving skills test well in advance – appointments get booked up months before.
You’ll have to perform a short road test and back your vehicle into a parking spot without hitting the cones or running out of time to receive your license. Luckily for new drivers, parallel parking was taken off of the skills test a few years ago.
Seat Belt Laws
Now that you have your license, it’s time to hit the road. But, always remember safety first.
Maryland recently made their seat belt laws stricter, so if you didn’t get the memo, here’s an update.
Anyone in the driver’s or front passenger’s seat must wear a seatbelt at all times – no exceptions.
Passengers under the age of 16 must also wear a seatbelt at all times with no exceptions.
People over the age of 16 sitting in the back seat aren’t required to wear a seatbelt but are strongly urged to wear one anyway. After all, you’re 75% less likely to be killed in a rollover crash if you’re wearing a seatbelt.
And it’s not just a matter of your safety. Driver’s are 50% more likely to be moderately or severely injured in a crash if the person in the seat behind them is not wearing a seatbelt.
So buckle up.
You may know that you’re required to have your lights on at night – after all, many cars today have automatic headlights that turn on when the sky gets dark enough. But do you know the other times that you’re required to have your lights on by law?
Anytime visibility is less than 1000 ft, you should turn them on. This includes those foggy mornings and rainy afternoons.
And speaking of rain, the law requires that you turn your headlights on whenever your windshield wipers are on.
Car accidents are sometimes unavoidable, and they’re often not your fault. But almost everyone will experience one in their lifetime, and when that happens, you should know what to do next.
Maryland law requires that you stop. (No hit-and-runs here.) You should also exchange license numbers, registrations, and car insurance information.
If possible, move your car out of the travel lanes, so you don’t hold up traffic.
And if there are any deaths or injuries, you’re required to call 911 to the scene.
You also must bring in the police if your car can no longer move, there’s damage to property, or the accident includes an unlicensed driver or one under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
Car accidents can be incredibly stressful, especially if your car is totaled. But the one thing you never have to worry about is how you’re going to get your vehicle home, to a mechanic, or to an impound lot.
Contact a Dependable Maryland Towing Company
Geyer’s Towing always has your back. All you have to do is give us a call.