Top Illegal Car Accessories
Car accessories to avoid if you don’t feel like breaking the law.
Some people like to give their car some extra flair to make it stand out from the crowd and impress strangers. However, there’s a few accessories and modifications that are not only dangerous, but very illegal in certain states. Thankfully, we’ve provided plenty of information to help you turn heads without picking up a ticket in the process. So, with this being said, here’s a look at some of the accessories that could land you in hot water if you’re unaware of the modification laws in your state.
Noise & Sound Mods
Many states have a noise limit for in-car stereo systems — in fine — print to avoid disruption of the peace and the paperwork that comes along with it. However, these mods also apply to exhaust and noisy mufflers as well. As many of these store-bought modifications claim to be legal upon purchase, many don’t know they’re illegal until after they’ve received a ticket and it’s too late. You should keep up to date with these laws as well as the pros & cons of manual vs. automatic transmission. These laws also apply to the smog that comes along with the exhaust — and mufflers — in terms of state laws and practices. So, if you find yourself falling into this category of modifications, the decision relies on the officer’s judgment of the inappropriate noises coming from your car… and the noise trouble they’re causing in the neighborhood.
Suspension & Frame Mods
Being a favorite at car shows, suspension and frame mods allow a car to do things it shouldn’t be able to do, such as bouncing or driving merely inches from the ground. With this being said, “Low Riders,” fall into this category as state laws require cars to be a certain height from the ground in order to be road safe. As most of the height is measured by the inches a car’s body is from the ground, it’s also measured by how many inches the rims are from the ground. Suspension vehicles also fall into the “inches from the ground” category as well, which makes their air and hydraulic systems that violate these guidelines not only unsafe, but illegal.
Engine modifications may take a little more investigation, but officers can spot them a mile away. As much of these modifications fall into the “Noise & Sounds” category, the smog and clean air policies in the state residency laws may affect the warning or penalty you receive.
Although light modifications have been around for a long time, there’s still plenty on the market that remain illegal. For light modifications, the taillights and the headlights need to emit certain colors at specific intensity levels… which are all governed by the state you’re driving in. A notable headlight is the Xenon or the intense “blue” headlight that comes up as illegal in many states if they’re not factory installed. If you happen to have neon “ground effect” lights you may be in the same situation with other illegal automobile lights as well… which is simply due to the colors they emit on the ground.
As much of this goes by the percentage of the tint on the windows, it also goes by what windows on the automobile are being tinted as well. With windshields being off limits for tinting, it leaves plenty of room for other ideas when tinting your windows. As the percentage of tinting ranges by state, checking in and asking your local authorities will keep you out of trouble in the future.
Some drivers prefer to hug the road in even the slickest weather, but studded tires are a fast track to tickets and penalties. Although they may sound safer for the driver, they actually destroy the road beneath them. Studded tires have been approved by the Federal Government, but many states only allow their use during certain times of the year.
With the information above, it shows that there’s a few things to consider before modifying your car and turning heads. Enrolling in traffic school or applying for a defensive driver course will not only help you understand logistics of safe automobile modifications, but apply the knowledge of driving safer to avoid instances of breaking the law during your travels. The information you’ll take from these courses will not only ensure your safety concerning modifications on the road, but ensure that you’re not breaking the law or receiving tickets during your daily commutes.