It’s easy to fall into bad driving habits. Not taking your driving seriously, being ignorant of the rules of the road and being inconsiderate of other drivers is at best, annoying, at worst, dangerous. To avoid being the instigator of road rage, hoots of the horn and general menace on the roads, here are some of the worst bad driving habits you should avoid.
Texting while driving is illegal in many states, and in other places it may be interpreted as illegal under the broader term of “distracted driving.” One of the worst bad driving habits, it’s downright dangerous. It’s estimated that texting and driving is at least 6 times more dangerous than drinking and driving, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. There isn’t anything that needs to be said that is worth putting your own life and the life of others in danger. Keep your full attention on the road.
While multitasking is generally considered an admirable ability, multitasking while driving causes you to be distracted, not allowing you to be fully focused on the road. This is not only dangerous to you, but dangerous to those who are driving around you, especially if they are also driving while distracted. In some states it may also be considered illegal. Even something as common as eating or drinking coffee while driving increase your odds of an accident by 80 percent, according to a study done by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
There’s a reason why most accidents happen within a few miles of our homes. According to a poll conducted by Progressive Insurance of 11,000 of its policyholders that had been involved in an accident, 69% reported that they were 10 miles from their homes. While this seems logical since we are within 10 miles of our homes a greater amount of time, we also get a little lax about the rules. Instead of stopping in the middle of the street to talk to someone, pull over. On busy streets, avoid crossing traffic to pull up to your mailbox. If you want to give someone a ride, get off the street first before picking them up.
There are those who simply don’t notice that the light has turned red and run it, likely causing an ugly accident. Then there are those who are in such a hurry to get through the yellow light that they run a red light, and if others who have a green light don’t notice you bullying your way through the intersection, they might run right into you. According to the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, one study showed that motorists ran a red light at an intersection every 20 minutes. That same source reported that trying to beat a red light causes more than 800 deaths in the United States each year.
Being nice is a very good thing, but sometimes, you can be too nice when in traffic. For example, there are those who will stop moving traffic to let a parked car get out into the flow, which is really nice but puts everyone in danger, especially those who weren’t expecting you to stop when all signs indicated you should be moving along. Reserve your good manners for situations where you need to slow a little to let people merge into your lane, or if everyone is stopped anyway and you allow someone into your lane from a driveway or side street. And even then, only allow one or two.
If you are at an intersection, are turning left and have a green light or flashing yellow arrow, don’t just sit there till the traffic clears. Move out into the intersection so that when the traffic clears, you can move across the opposite lane as quickly as possible. If the light turns red while you’re in the intersection, most traffic laws allow you to proceed with your turn without repercussions.
Nothing is more irritating to drivers than to be stuck behind someone who is driving way under the speed limit because they are lost or looking for something. There is no need to keep drivers hostage because you have an agenda. Move over, let the traffic pass, and continue your search or take time to look at a map or get directions from your smartphone.
What bad driving habits are you guilty of? Any of these or ones I haven’t mentioned? What bad driving habits of other road users annoy you most?
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