When drivers are behind the wheel, they need to be aware of their surroundings and make sure they are driving safely. Unfortunately, there are many risky driving habits that can lead to accidents. Here are 8 of the most common risky driving habits to avoid:
1. Driving Under the Influence
Every day in the United States, roughly 30 people die in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver. This is why it is so important to never get behind the wheel after drinking. If you are going to be consuming alcohol, make sure to have a designated driver or plan on taking public transportation home.
2. Not Wearing a Seatbelt
In 2016, over 14,000 people were killed in the United States in car accidents where they were not wearing seatbelts. Wearing a seatbelt is one of the simplest and most effective ways to stay safe while driving. Every time you get in a car, make sure to buckle up.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, speeding was a factor in 26% of all fatal crashes in the United States in 2016. Speeding makes it more difficult to control your vehicle and leaves less time to react to hazards. To avoid speeding, always obey posted speed limits and drive at a speed that is appropriate for the conditions.
4. Distracted Driving
Texting, talking on the phone, eating, drinking, and other activities that take your attention away from driving are all forms of distracted driving. Distracted driving is dangerous because it increases the chance of an accident. If you need to do something that takes your attention away from driving, pull over to a safe location first.
5. Reckless Driving
Reckless driving behaviors like tailgating, weaving in and out of traffic, and making illegal maneuvers put other drivers at risk. If you are caught driving recklessly, you could be ticketed or even arrested. To avoid being a reckless driver, always drive defensively and give yourself plenty of space to react to hazards.
6. Failing to Yield
When you are making a turn or merging onto a highway, you need to yield the right of way to oncoming traffic. Failing to yield is one of the leading causes of car accidents. To avoid this, always look both ways before turning and make sure there is no oncoming traffic before merging.
7. Driving in Poor Conditions
Driving in poor weather conditions like rain, snow, and ice can be dangerous. If possible, avoid driving in these conditions. If you must drive, take extra caution and go slow. If you own a caravan or a motorhome, using wheel chocks can be an important part of securing your vehicle.
8. Road Rage
Getting angry while driving is never a good idea. If another driver cuts you off or does something to anger you, do not let it get the best of you. To avoid road rage, stay calm and take a break if you need to.
If you have been in an accident, it is important to contact a car accident lawyer to know how you can protect your rights and interests. You should also bring your vehicle to an auto body repair shop as soon as possible. Accidents can cause damage to your car that may not be immediately apparent. A qualified auto body repair shop will be able to properly assess the damage and conduct auto repair services.