5 Dangerous Driving Habits & How to Break Them
Many of us have driving habits that we constantly do without realizing how dangerous they actually can be. It’s important that when you’re on the road, you pay attention and be aware of your surroundings and other drivers. Here are some dangerous driving habits you may have & tips on how to break them:
1. Distracted Driving: Distracted driving has become one of the most dangerous driving epidemics of the modern age. Now-a-days, almost everybody has their phone in their hand while operating a vehicle. Whether they are texting, browsing social media, or checking their emails; distracteddriving can be prevented.
Some different tips to break the habit of distracted driving include simply turning off or hiding your phone during your drive, using apps that disable use while driving, giving your phone to your kids, or using hands-free Bluetooth Connection. Statistics have shown that teenagers are the most susceptible of distracted driving (Driving-Tests.org), with the highest proportion of fatal distracted-driving car accidents. Distracted driving requires the driver to take their eyes off the road for seconds at a time, long enough for these kinds of accidents to occur.
2. Speeding: Speeding is a driving habit that probably almost all of us have been guilty of before. You woke up late and now you’re rushing for work, going 80MPH in a 55. Speeding reduces the driver’s ability to have complete control over the vehicle and also increases the distance required to stop (Driving-Tests.org). Some tips to avoid speeding include waking up early to avoid running late, knowing the rules of the road, and being aware of the current speed limit. Be patient on the road and with people around you, and you will be able to break this dangerous driving habit.
3. Driving Under the Influence: Driving under the influence has remained the number-one cause of vehicular fatalities in the United States (Driving-Tests.org). According to statistics, three people are killed every two hours in an alcohol-related car accident (Driving-Tests.org). Driving under the influence can compromise your reaction time very significantly, enough to cause serious damage to yourself and others. Although the legal limit is .08, underage and impaired drivers can be arrested and charged with DUI/DWI charges.
To avoid driving under the influence, some tips include choosing a designated driver, asking someone for a ride (who is not consuming alcohol), protecting others by taking their car keys away, and being aware of other drivers around you. Also, take note of drivers who seem like they may be under the influence and call 9-1-1.
4. Driving Without a Seatbelt: Seatbelts are the most effective way to prevent any potential injuries in case of an accident. Air bags are created to reduce injury in car accidents as well, but they are designed to work in conjunction with a seatbelt (Driving-Tests.org). Vehicles are now equipped with a seatbelt alarm, which will repetitively beep until you and your passenger in the front seat buckle-up.
Some tips to remember to wear your seatbelt include buckling up before driving (or riding in a car) and being aware of the proper way to put a seatbelt on; always wear the lap belt low across the hips and below your stomach, and wear the shoulder belt over your collarbone, away from your neck. It’s best to keep children below 13 years of age buckled-up in the backseat at all times.
5. Drowsy Driving: Drowsy driving has been said to be just as bad as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. About 100,000 crashes each year are due to fatigued drivers, and 55% of these crashes are caused by drivers less than 25 years old (National Sleep Foundation). Your body is dependent on sleep to survive, and if you’re driving drowsy your reaction time will become slower. Falling asleep at the wheel can cause serious injuries to yourself and others, and can also cause fatalities.
Some tips to avoid drowsy driving include getting a good night’s sleep, pulling over on the side of the road or highway to catch up on some sleep, scheduling regulated stops, avoiding alcohol and/or medications, etc. If you know you’re going to be stuck in traffic and you start to feel drowsy- pull over and wait the traffic out.
Learn more about dangerous driving habits here
Zakhareuski, Andrei. Driving-Tests.org. 5 Most Dangerous Driving Habits & How To Break Them. http://driving-tests.org/beginner-drivers/5-most-dangerous-driving-habits/. July, 2017.
Coleman Financial. Ten Ways To Break Your Texting While Driving Habit. July, 2017.
State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company. 8 Ways to Prevent Drinking and Driving. July, 2017.
Road & Track. The 9 Most Dangerous Things Drivers Do. July, 2017.
National Sleep Foundation. Detection and Prevention. July, 2017.