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Four Violations Worse than Speeding41 million people, nearly 21 percent of the driving population, receive a speeding ticket every year. Only Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York issue more speeding citations than California. With all these tickets, you would think that speeding is the most dangerous violation on the road. But that is not the case.

It is not speed that kills in Kern County, but speed variance. Drivers who either operate vehicles that are inappropriate for the roadway, such as riding a moped on a state highway or other high-speed road, or who use the left lane as a driving lane instead of a passing lane, cause other motorists to zip in and out of traffic, often without signaling. While it's true from a physics standpoint that the faster you are going the more likely it is that in accident you will be killed, the relative safety of the autobahn and other places with high speeds but more careful drivers reminds us that it is very rarely speed by itself that causes accidents.

Tailgating is risky at any speed. By giving yourself less time to react to an emergency in front of you, you are almost inviting trouble. Tailgating also leads to road rage and traffic congestion.

With more technology than ever, distracted driving is more of a problem than ever in Tulare County. Once upon a time, a driver may be distracted only by talking to a passenger or adjusting the radio dial. Now, all manner of phone calls, emails, texts and status updates bombard us constantly, taking our concentration off the road. Distracted driving is especially a problem among very young drivers, who may lack the experience needed to compensate for a driving mistake.

Waiting your turn is just as big of an issue for children at the water fountain as it is for adults at an intersection. By ignoring or overlooking the rules of the road, including those that are unwritten, you create a hazard for all other motorists around you.

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