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Maryland Auto Driving Laws

Turn On Lights in the Rain.

Maryland traffic laws require all drivers to turn on their headlights whenever they are using their windshield wipers.

Wear Seatbelts.

Maryland driving law requires everyone seated in the front seat must have their seat belts fastened. If age 15 or younger, they must always wear a seat belt regardless of where they are seated. Children under 4 and those who weigh less than 40 pounds must be in a child safety seat. Any passenger in a car being driven by a person with a provisional driver's license must also use a seatbelt or a child safety seat.

Stop for Pedestrians.

Maryland traffic laws require all vehicles to stop for any pedestrian. Always prepare to stop when you approach an intersection and look out for pedestrian traffic.

Yield to the Right at 4-Way Stop Signs.

In accordance with Maryland driving law, at all intersections controlled with 4-way stop signs in Maryland, the vehicle that arrives first may proceed through the intersection. Drivers must first stop at the stop sign.

If more than one of you arrive at the stop signs at approximately the same time, you must yield to the vehicle to your right. That motorist proceeds first.

Full Stop Before a Turn on Red.

Unless there is a sign prohibiting it, Maryland driving law allows drivers to turn right after stopping for a red light. Drivers may also turn left from a one-way street onto another one-way street if there is no sign that says "No Turn on Red".

Pass on the Left.

It's legal under Maryland driving law to pass on the left or right on multi-laned highways. Whenever possible, passing on the left is preferable.

Merge With Caution.

Always check for an opening early whenever you are merging onto a roadway. Do a head check first, to find a spot. Keep checking the traffic in front of you to make sure it is not slowing or stopping. Check your spot again, and merge into the traffic.

The "yield" sign means exactly that, you must yield the right of way to the through traffic and stop if necessary. The through traffic is not required to yield to any entering traffic. Courtesy and responsibility is expected of all who use Maryland's roadways.

Do Not Drive Aggressively.

Maryland driving law is tough on aggressive drivers, with tickets, tough fines and points, particularly for violations of Maryland traffic laws such as speeding, running red lights and stop signs, tailgating, and unsafe lane changes. Regular police stings on roads are coordinated with the District of Columbia and Virginia. Drivers can receive a five-point penalty on their driving record if convicted of aggressive driving.

Maryland driving law is also tough on drunk drivers. If a driver is pulled over and has a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher, he or she will be arrested for drunk driving. The .08 level can translate into just a drink or two depending on one's height and weight. Refusing a breath test is admissible as evidence in Maryland courts, too.

Yield the Right-of-Way to Bicyclists.

Bicycles are treated as vehicles in Maryland. Motorists must yield the right-of-way to bicyclists. Do not attempt to share the lane with bicyclists. If you are unable to safely pass them, reduce your speed, and follow the bicycle at a safe distance. Wait for a safe opportunity to pass, allowing adequate clearance, about three feet from the side of your vehicle, and return to your lane when you can clearly see the bicyclist in your rear view mirror.

Under Maryland traffic laws, a bicycle is not restricted to the right side of the road. Share the road and do not use your horn. The bicyclist can usually hear an approaching vehicle and loud noises can startle the bicyclist and may cause an accident.

Maintain Current Auto Insurance.

Maryland driving law penalizes uninsured motorists $150 for the first month of driving without insurance and $7 each day thereafter. To ensure insurance coverage, motorists should never cancel insurance on any sold or disposed of vehicle until after the license plates have been returned to the MVA. The MVA will give the motorist a receipt when the license plates are returned. It is the motorist's best proof the law of Maryland has been followed.

For More Information

Maryland Department of Transportation


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