Top 10 Most Dangerous Driving Habits
Updated January 31, 2017
Insurance companies encourage customers to take safe driving classes. They are willing to offer discounts if you will sit through a class and learn how to be a better driver. One thing the classes teach you is how to anticipate what other drivers will do and be prepared. However, they also focus heavily on common assumptive tropes that people fall into when driving. When you learn to recognize these seemingly innocent behaviors for the dangerous habits they are, you will become a safer driver.
1. Illegal U-Turns
There’s a sign there stating that U-turns are illegal, but you figure that it won’t hurt anyone. Unfortunately, U-turns are usually illegal because visibility it limited or heavy traffic turning in from other streets makes them dangerous. Don’t risk causing an accident. Turn down a side street and find a safe spot to make your U-turn.
2. Cutting Across Parking Lots
Parking lots do have driving lanes, yet it’s common to see people driving across the lanes in any direction they please. This is extremely dangerous. The rows of parked cars limit visibility, and the right-of-way is unclear. You may not see a car pulling out. Worse yet, you may not see a child coming out from between cars because you are not driving carefully in the designated lanes.
3. Speeding in Parking Lots
Like cutting across parking areas, speeding in them is always a bad idea. There may not be speed limit signs posted, but there are plenty of pedestrians walking along between rows. Slow down in all parking areas to avoid accidents and protect the pedestrians.
4. Ignoring the Blinker
You know that you’re turning up ahead, but does the person behind you know that you’re going to be hitting the brakes and turning? Blinkers are a courtesy, and they are also an important tool that protects you. If the driver behind you knows that you are turning, then they will be ready to slow down.
5. Trusting the Blinker
Another habit that is just as dangerous is putting too much trust in someone else’s blinker. When you are waiting to turn into heavy traffic, and you see someone coming with the blinker on, then you may get excited about the chance to finally merge into traffic. Unfortunately, they may have the blinker on by accident. Assume that they are turning based on the blinker, and you could cause an accident. Be ready to pull out, but wait just a moment to make sure they are actually slowing down.
6. Distracted Driving
Cell phones get a bad reputation for causing accidents, but the bigger issue is distracted driving. The problem is that you are focusing on something other than the road. It doesn’t matter if it’s your fighting children in the back seat, a phone call or your meal. If you are not paying attention to traffic, then everyone around you is at risk.
7. Cutting Across Multiple Lanes
Driving on busy highways is always a challenge. You have several lanes to watch, and heavy traffic makes it even more challenging. If you are driving along in the right lane of a three-lane highway, you are watching your lane and the center lane. You are not watching the far left lane and preparing yourself for someone trying to cut across two lanes at once. Even if the road looks clear, there could be a driver in the far lane that isn’t expecting you and won’t have time to stop.
8. Driving too Slow
The dangers of speeding are obvious, but driving slow is also a hazard. Drivers coming up behind you aren’t expecting the turtle’s pace you’ve set, and they may not have time to adjust. On highways, people may assume that there’s something wrong with your car or the road. If they are nervous about passing you, then they might create a more dangerous situation with their hesitation. Always pay attention to the posted speed limits and try to keep your speed consistent.
9. (Not Paying Atention to) the Weather
The speed you can travel at is affected by the weather. When it’s raining, you can only drive so fast. When it’s snowing or sleeting, you must slow down. Tooling along at 65 miles an hour when the roads are slick and visibility is poor is asking for an accident.
You always need to leave enough space between you and other cars to stop in the event of an emergency. You never know when the car in front of you may have to stop for traffic, deer, engine problems or some other emergency. If you have the space to stop, then you can avoid the accident.
When you’re ready to become a safer driver, start by eliminating these dangerous assumptive tropes from your list of habits. You will be a better driver, and everyone around you will be safer on the road.
Aaron Martinez contributed this post on behalf of 522 Digital, whose marketing techniques have long supported company brand creation.