Weird and Wonderful Rules of the American Road

california road

Traffic laws are there to keep us safe on the roads. But then, what about the ones that serve no purpose other than to make us scratch our heads or that simply haven’t been updated since before cars were invented?

Let’s take a look at some of the weirdest and most wonderful.


In Illinois, you can only claim possession of a roadkill deer if you don’t owe any child support. We’re not sure how those two things became related. You also can’t claim a roadkill deer if you’ve had your ‘wildlife privileges’ suspended elsewhere in the United States. That makes slightly more sense, even if we’re not sure what ‘wildlife privileges’ are.


Spot a group of horses while out driving in the Keystone State? According to some (old, old) law, you should pull over and cover your car with a blanket that blends in appropriately with the surroundings. Don’t move until the horses have passed. If the horses look spooked, you should take the car apart and hide it under a bush. Yes, really. We’re assuming this law is from a time when cars were a little different, and there were a lot more horses on the roads.


In California, it’s classed as a misdemeanor to shoot at a game from a moving vehicle, which makes total sense. This is unless your target is a whale. In this case, you’re totally fine to fire away. We can’t imagine how you might end up in a scenario where shooting at a whale from a moving car was even remotely possible, but it is, somehow, allowed.


People living in big Michigan towns need to be careful of breaking down at weekends. It’s illegal, yes, illegal, to buy cars on Sundays if there are more than 130,000 residents. Smaller towns can buy cars whenever they want.

This rule also applies to Maine. In Indiana, it’s legal to buy cars on Sundays, but seemingly not to sell them. We don’t know how that works.


Don’t ride in cars barefoot in Mississippi. You might get caught out by an old law that states riding in a car, barefoot, with a member of the opposite sex, makes you legally married to each other. Why this ever became a thing is unclear.


Don’t honk your horn at slow drive-thru service in Little Rock, Arkansas. It’s illegal to honk a horn after 9 pm at any place serving cold drinks or sandwiches. This basically covers all fast food joints that have ever existed.


In Nebraska, drivers must stay in the right-hand lane when driving on mountain highways. They should also honk, or holler, within 200 feet of a bend with an obstructed view, so that other drivers can see they’re coming. All sounds reasonable, right? There’s just one thing – there are no mountains in Nebraska.


In Kansas, it’s illegal to spin or squeal your tires. This means it’s a good idea to keep an eye on your speed, and to check for any speed sensor symptoms that might be throwing the reading off. Apparently, this rule was introduced to cut down on illegal racing, but you could easily fall foul of it by accident.


In Oregon, it’s an offense to leave your car door open for longer than it needs to be – like, you can’t just get into the car, and then leave the door open while you put on your seatbelt. You also can’t open the door unless it’s ‘reasonably safe to do so,’ which seems perfectly sensible.

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