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15 Dangerous Driving Habits We All Have Done

How many of these bad driving habits are you guilty of?

Published October 27, 2018

As you head down the road, it’s likely you see lots of poor driving happening. People are in a hurry and they aren’t paying attention to what they’re doing. While you’re focused on what they are doing that’s so dangerous, have you ever stopped to consider your own bad driving habits?

Chances are you’ve been guilty of many of these bad driving habits. Be honest with yourself.

15. Illegal Parking

bad driving habitsIt doesn’t matter how many signs are up, we still find lots of temptation in parking illegally. Those red zones, yellow curbs, and areas with hours clearly labeled are hard to resist.

The trouble with illegal parking is that tickets are right around the corner. Let’s face it; they aren’t cheap either. Parking for “just a minute” can lead to disaster. Even if you’ve gotten away with it before, you’ll want to avoid illegal parking, unless you want to have your car towed.

14. Ignoring Traffic Signs

Ignoring Traffic SignsIt’s not uncommon to blow through a stop sign when you know there are no other cars around; we’ve all done it. The trouble is, there might be something you don’t see yet. That’s why it’s always best to stop and obey the signs. You wouldn’t want to hit another car or pedestrian you didn’t notice. You also need a moment to check the area for cops.

13. Speeding Through Yellow Lights

Speeding Through Yellow LightsWe are all guilty of seeing a yellow light and hitting the accelerator. The trouble is, you don’t often make it through in time. Not only can this hold up other drivers on the road, but it might lead to an accident.

You’re far safer waiting for the next light. Each traffic light features different intervals, so it’s impossible to predict how long you have to get through that one before the opposing traffic starts to move. That’s why many of us think we’ve made it through a yellow light when we really haven’t.

12. Neglecting Your Blind Spots

Neglecting Your Blind SpotsThis tactic is so dangerous that modern vehicles come with safety technology designed to prevent this. The trouble is that even checking your blind spots might be hazardous. As you’re looking in all your mirrors and checking over your shoulder, your eyes aren’t on the road. This leaves you vulnerable to some anxiety and a car accident.

There’s nothing worse than almost hitting the car next to you. The only thing that sucks more than that is being the car in the other lane that almost gets collided into. Remember that even with your side and rear-view mirrors, there’s still a blind spot to your vehicle.

That’s why we highly recommend buying a new car that features blind-spot detection plus rear cameras and sensors. Not only do these systems help while backing up, but they are vital when trying to switch lanes as well.

11. Neglecting Turn Signals

Neglecting Turn SignalsThis is one of the bad driving habits that are even worse when combined with number 12. If you aren’t announcing where you plan to go, how will the other drivers know? They certainly aren’t mind-readers.

Occasionally, you’ll also come across someone that thinks it’s okay to slow down in the middle of the road for a turn without telling where they are going. This is how many rear-end accidents occur. Instead of assuming other people are physic and can read your mind, how about flipping on the signal so we’re all on the same page?

10. Merging Improperly

Merging ImproperlyIf there’s one thing that drives us slightly nuts, it’s being on the freeway ramp behind someone that doesn’t get the idea of merging. They are perfectly content to sit there and wait for someone to let them in; which isn’t going to happen. This holds up the flow of traffic and leaves room for an accident.

On the other hand, many people have no patience. They don’t care if three cars are ahead of them to merge; they’ll gladly dart out around everyone. Furthermore, the drivers barreling down the highway that don’t get over when they can are also on the list of people with bad driving habits. Learn the basics of merging people and everything will flow smoother!

9. Cutting Off Other Cars

Cutting Off Other CarsThere are always times that we find ourselves in a hurry and we head out wishing the roads were empty. Then, we could just bump up the speed limit slightly and get where we need to. Unfortunately, it seems when we are in the biggest hurry is when the roads are most congested.

That’s when we start weaving in and out of lanes in hopes we get further ahead. Of course, we generally don’t get much further from the people we passed and it’s just one of the bad driving habits that put us at risk of a collision. Maybe we should just set our clocks early instead so we don’t run late anymore.

8. Speeding

Speeding - police with radarAnd that brings us to our next bad driving habit – speeding. Just because we all do it, doesn’t make it okay. Just ask a police officer and you’ll quickly find out how wrong it is. In fact, speeding is one of the main reasons we have car accidents. When you combine this with some of the other bad driving habits, you put yourself in a lot of danger.

7. Tailgating

TailgatingIf you want to see two drivers get real angry fast, watch the situation occurring with tailgating. Not only does the offender get irritated and mad that the person in front isn’t moving more quickly, but the person being tailgated also starts to get annoyed.

Tailgating is another one of our bad driving habits that causes accidents. It’s not easy to keep control of your vehicle when being brake checked. Furthermore, if something happens, you’ll have no time to react. Leave room between you and the car in front of you and simply pass when it’s safe (and legal) to do so.

6. Driving While Wearing Headphones

Driving While Wearing HeadphonesIt isn’t distracting enough just having the radio on in the car; now people drive with their headphones on as well. While you do this, you might miss the important sounds of car horns, emergency sirens, and railroad-crossing alarms. On top of that, many states have laws against it. Do us all a favor and take the headphones off while you drive.

5. Driving Without Your Headlights On

Driving Without Your Headlights OnWe all know to turn on our headlights at night, but there are other times we should switch them on. During bad weather and at dusk, lights are your friend. It’s better to have your headlights on and not need them than to neglect them all together.

Not only do headlights announce your presence to others on the road, but there are laws in most states about when to use them. If you’re in doubt, turn them on and avoid one of the most common bad driving habits on the road.

4. Not Wearing a Seatbelt

Not Wearing a SeatbeltThe NHTSA estimates that 90% of people now wear their seatbelts. That’s a great habit to be in because they are the first line of security when you’re in an accident. With that said, that still leaves 10% of people that don’t buckle up. Of course, we’ve all been guilty of this bad driving habit when we’re just going around the corner.

The laws are different in each state. Some require children to be in seatbelts while others list that it’s for anyone in the front seat. Regardless of what the law is, you know it’s what’s best for you. It’s the best habit you could get into every time you drive in a car.

3. Drafting Tractor Trailers

Drafting Tractor TrailersWe’ve all dreamt of being a NASCAR racer, but the highway by your house isn’t the place to try out your skills. When you get behind a tractor trailer, don’t fall victim to one of the funniest bad driving habits. Sure drafting tractor trailers is good for your fuel economy, but you aren’t going to have the time to brake if they stop short. Take a good look at the bottom of that trailer the next time you’re drafting. You’ll quickly see that it’s the perfect height to completely decapitate you. Enough said.

2. Not Watching Your Tire Pressures

check tire pressureThis isn’t necessarily considered one of the bad driving habits since you aren’t technically driving when this should occur. It’s still something you neglect that might lead to an accident. Your wheels are the only part of the car that touches the road and they need to be in optimal working order.

When your tire pressures aren’t right, you could easily find yourself in a blow-out situation. Imagine that happening while going through a tight turn. Controlling your vehicle at that point would be hard. On top of that, incorrect tire pressures cause more wear and hurt your fuel economy.

1. Using Your Cell Phone While Driving

Cell Phone While DrivingWould you believe this is one of the more common bad driving habits out there? Talking on your phone might still be legal in some states, but it doesn’t make it a good idea. We know how tempting it is to pick up the phone when you hear the ringtone, but you need to avoid it.

Talking on a cell phone is distracting, no matter how well you think you’re paying attention. Of course, we don’t need to talk about texting while driving because you’re already aware that’s a big NO-NO.

TeenSafe claimed that in 2015, 14% of automobile accidents related to distraction came from cell phone usage. In fact, about 11 teenagers die each day because they’ve used their cell phones behind the wheel; and that’s not even accounting for the adults that participate in this bad driving habit.

Can You Report Bad Driving Habits?

report dangerous driver signIf you don’t participate in these bad driving habits, we commend you! The downside is that you probably have to deal with many other motorists that do. What do you do if you’re driving down the road and witness dangerous behavior?

Should you call 911? Do you think the cops even care about what’s happening?

Most of the time, we simply get mad and then swallow the anger down. We don’t tend to do anything. We have some tips that might help you to get through it.

1 – Remain cool, no matter what they’re doing.

2 – If they start to tailgate you, change lanes and allow them to pass.

3 – Don’t make direct eye contact with them.

4 – Ignore the rude gestures they give you, and don’t return any back.

5 – Dial #77 from your cell phone. If you feel that you’re in danger, dial 911 instead.

6 – If they begin to follow you, take them to the nearest police station or at least a crowded public spot.

Some apps allow you to report others with bad driving habits. With that said, you’ll have to use your cell phone to report it, which makes you break the law.

Nexar is a mobile app that helps you record bad driving habits in case there’s an accident. You simply mount your smartphone on the dashboard and it records anytime there’s dangerous driving in view.

If you prefer to report the incident when you get home, you can use a national database such as the Bad Driver Database.

Making a Report

report dangerous driverIf you decide that making an official report is the right step to take, you’ll want to follow our tips. When you’re driving alone, memorize as much information as you can. If you have a passenger with, have them write it down. Don’t attempt to take a picture or write notes while you drive, or you might be the reason an accident occurs.

Here are the most important details to remember:

  • The license plate state and numbers, if possible
  • What color the car is
  • How many doors it has
  • If there are any distinctive markings on the car or bumper stickers
  • If the windows are tinted
  • How many people are currently in the car

Then, either pull over or make the report when you get home. Of course, having a dash cam during this would certainly help your statement. With many people installing dash cameras into the vehicles now, there’s a higher instance that something can be done about those with bad driving habits.

Final Thoughts

We’ve all been guilty of one, two, or all fifteen of these bad driving habits. In our busy lives, it becomes easy to forget about all the other people on the road and just see our goals and schedules. We need to stop and slow down for a minute. Our choices and our actions affect everyone around us. Hurrying to that next appointment will mean nothing if you kill someone along the way. Play it safe and avoid these bad driving habits at all costs.

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Brian Jones
About Brian Jones

I am an ASE Certified Master Tech, but spend more time with my awesome family now than I do on cars. In my spare time, you'll still find me playing with tools, cars and many other "manly" gadgets.

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