​Common Traffic Violations in Virginia

Personal Injury Attorneys Blog

Traffic violations happen every single day on Virginia roads. While not all violations end in accidents, they greatly increase the likelihood of collisions.

After experiencing a collision caused by another’s violation of traffic laws, speak to a car accident attorney.

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​Common Traffic Violations in VirginiaAs in many other states, speeding is one of Virginia’s most common traffic violations. Speeding typically means driving over posted speed limits, but driving too fast for the road and weather conditions could also be speeding.

Drivers speed for many reasons, including:

  • Trying to beat or avoid traffic
  • Running late
  • Disregard for the law and others on the road

Speeding is dangerous driving behavior because it can:

  • Heighten the chances of losing control over your vehicle
  • Increase stopping distance
  • Greatly increase the chances and severity of accidents and injuries
  • Reduce the efficacy of protective equipment in vehicles
  • Increase fuel consumption

Aside from facing greater chances of causing accidents resulting in extensive injuries, speeding drivers also face legal consequences. A speeding driver may receive a traffic ticket, have to pay expensive fines, and get points on their license. Once a driver accumulates enough points, they could have their driver’s license revoked.

If speeding is a factor in your collision, a traffic violation lawyer can assist with your case.


Tailgating refers to following the vehicle in front too closely. Following vehicles too closely is dangerous, and the law in Virginia makes it illegal.

Under Virginia traffic law, drivers cannot follow vehicles more closely than is reasonable or responsible. Drivers must assess the conditions on the road to determine a prudent distance.

Tailgating most often causes rear-end accidents. If the driver in front were to stop quickly, the rear tailgating driver would have little to no space to stop safely and would crash into the vehicle in front of them.

Tailgating is not only risky but frustrating. A traffic violation attorney can help you handle your tailgating accident claim.

Failure to Yield

Virginia drivers are required to respect traffic laws dictating yielding. Yielding the right-of-way means giving the other vehicle or pedestrian a chance to go first. For example, when you stop to let a pedestrian cross the street, you yield to the pedestrian.

Several right-of-way laws exist. Depending on the situation, drivers must yield to other drivers, pedestrians, and emergency vehicles. Failure to yield can easily cause catastrophic accidents and severe injuries.

In Virginia, failure to yield the right-of-way is a misdemeanor in many cases. Drivers caught violating right-of-way laws face a maximum of 12 months in jail and $2,500 in fines. Failing to yield the right-of-way can also be a felony if the individual caused someone harm or violated the law with a suspended or revoked license.

Running Red Lights

Running red lights is a particularly common traffic violation in Virginia.

There usually isn’t an excuse to run a red light, especially when the light first turns yellow to warn drivers it’s about to turn red. However, most drivers speed up at the sight of a yellow light in order to beat the red light. While this might seem like a successful tactic, it results in many drivers running red lights.

In the worst scenarios, running a red light could cause a terrible accident, especially because it also frequently involves speeding.

If you’re in an accident because a driver irresponsibly ran a red light, a traffic violation lawyer could help you seek compensation for your injuries.

Improper Turns or Maneuvers

An improper turn typically refers to a driver making a left or right turn when they are not supposed to. For example, if a driver turns right during a red light when there is clearly a “no turn on red” sign, this could be classified as an improper turn.

Additionally, certain maneuvers like U-turns may also be improper, especially when traffic signs prohibit these maneuvers and drivers disobey.

Improper turns or maneuvers put the driver in a situation to cause an accident or hit an innocent pedestrian in the process.

Failure to Obey Traffic Signs

Traffic signs exist for a reason. These signs help keep roads safe and drivers out of harm’s way.

Drivers often disobey traffic signs because they’re driving distractedly or they choose to disregard the law on purpose. Failure to obey includes not only traffic signs, like stop signs, but also traffic lights.

When a driver fails to obey traffic signs, they make it risky for other drivers to share the road with them. If your traffic accident involved a driver who failed to respect signs or lights, your traffic violation attorney could use this as strong evidence for your claim.

Reckless or Aggressive Driving

Reckless driving refers to more than mere negligence. It often means driving with disregard for other people’s safety and property. Aggressive driving is more of an umbrella term encompassing many negative driving behaviors, including speeding and tailgating.

Both reckless driving and aggressive driving are unacceptable, as they frequently result in accidents.

Because of the seriousness of these types of driving, victims of collisions are often left with significant injuries and life-altering impacts on their health and well-being. A traffic violation lawyer can substantially assist with a reckless or aggressive driving case.

Virginia law provides penalties for both reckless driving and aggressive driving.

Other Types of Traffic Violations

While the listed violations are some of the most common, there are many other kinds of traffic violations in Virginia, including:

  • Passing violations: Passing when overtaking a vehicle
  • Signaling violations: Failure to give proper signals
  • Stopping violations: Neglecting the duty to stop after an accident

Driving is a privilege that comes with many rules and potential violations. When drivers fail to respect the law, this failure can result in substantial consequences.

Traffic violations quite regularly result in car accidents. If you’re involved in a collision caused by a violation of traffic laws, your traffic violation attorney can use this information as evidence to prove cause and liability.

Consult a Traffic Violation Lawyer

Examples of Traffic Violations
Walter H Emroch, Car Accident Lawyer

After a traffic accident involving a violation of traffic laws, consult with a personal injury attorney. Accepting the help of a traffic violation lawyer will give you the best chance at a fair outcome.