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Is It Illegal to…? Common Questions About Driving Laws

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...and answers that may surprise you!

Laws about driving and parking to avoid police tickets

We’ve all passed the driver’s test and taken driver’s education classes way back in the day, but over time we’ve all had arguments with friends about what is and isn’t legal on the road. We’ll help you solve some of your most-asked questions about driving laws.

7 Questions You’ve Always Wondered About Driving Laws

Q: Is it illegal to drive in reverse?

A: Yes, that’s considered “illegal backing,” which is a “moving violation” and involves all sorts of fines and penalties. (Source: Traffic Law Violation Law Firms)

Q: Is it illegal to sleep in your car?

A: It depends on the location and city ordinances. Wherever it’s illegal to park your car overnight or to be homeless, you’ll probably get the cops called on you. Avoid residential areas/private property in favor of rest stops or places designed for all-night public use. Still, many experts recommend against this for health and safety reasons…you do know how dirty your car is, right? (Source:

Q: Is it illegal to drive with the dome light on?

A: No, for the most part no states have laws expressly prohibiting the interior dome light from being on when the car is in motion. It’s a common urban myth that it’s illegal, but the only way you’d get in trouble for doing this is through a blanket “interfering with driver vision” penalty. (Source:

Q: Is it illegal to drive wearing headphones?

Commonly asked driving laws to avoid getting ticketed

A: This varies from state to state, depending on if there’s a state-wide law prohibiting any sort of “headset” to be worn while operating a vehicle, which would cover more than just music headphones. In some states, you can get away with only having one of your ears covered. (Source: AAA Driving Laws)

Q: Is it illegal to drive barefoot?

A: Although you might have heard that it is illegal, it’s actually not expressly prohibited in any of the 50 states’ driving laws–it’s only recommended against. (Source:

Q: Is it illegal to back out of my driveway?

A: Based on local ordinances, it’s only illegal if you’re backing out onto a major road; minor residential streets are permissible. You could still get in trouble if you “don’t use discretion” and are a “safety hazard” on the road. Notably, the proper method is to actually back into your driveaway and pull out forward when exiting, which is much safer for visibility and is what students are taught in driving school. (Source:

Q: Is it illegal to park on the same side of the street as a fire hydrant?

A:  Numerous city and state laws prohibit parking in front of a fire hydrant. Some prohibit parking within 10 feet of one, and others prohibit parking on that side of the street altogether. (Source: various state ordinance sites)