Far be it from us to assume you are guilty of any dangerous driving habits at all. For all we know, you might be the safest driver on the planet, practicing care and due diligence everywhere you go. Kudos to you if this is the case.
On the other hand…
You might not be as safe as you think you are. While you probably aren’t completely reckless, you might still be putting your life and the lives of others in danger when you’re cruising the highways and byways. How? Well, read on to find out more.
Habit #1: Going over the speeding limit
You know those signs you see on the road; the ones with great big numbers on them indicating how fast you should (or shouldn’t) be going? They aren’t there for general guidance on speed. They aren’t put there to inconvenience you when you’re desperate to get from A to B. They are there to protect you and others on the road, so you really need to be following them. But many of us are lax in this area. We think one or two miles over the limit doesn’t matter. If there’s no other traffic on the road, we might be tempted to put our foot down as if we were James Bond or Jason Bourne. But not only will we face the cost of breaking the speed limit should the law catch up with us, but speeding might also cost us our lives (and the lives of others) should an accident take place. Speed kills, as the adverts on the television are constantly reminding us, so stop it!
Habit #2: Driving under the influence
How many times have you used your car after drinking? You might feel okay; therefore you might assume you are safe to drive, but are you really? Alcohol can cause us to think irrationally, so you might not be totally compos mentis (in the right mind). Alcohol can also cause a lapse in concentration as well as drowsiness, so while you might feel fine when you get behind the wheel, you might not be okay further on in your journey. Twenty-nine people die every die in the United States because of an alcohol-impaired driver according to statistics; a sobering thought. And even if you don’t kill somebody while under the influence, you might still face a driving ban if the police discover you are over the limit (.08 BAC in the US). So, if you have ever risked driving when you know you shouldn’t, or if you already have experience of a day in court with DUI lawyers by your side, then now is the time to commit to better habits. Don’t drink so much, or if you do, take an Uber or the bus on your journey home.
Habit #3: Using your phone while driving
Have you ever checked a text when it has come through while you’re driving? Have you ever picked up your phone to answer a call? Have you texted or called somebody when you’re behind the wheel? According to the National Safety Council, one out of every four car accidents in the US is because of cell phone use while driving. This apparently adds up to around 1.6 million crashes each year, some of them fatal. Were those calls and texts really worth it? No, of course they weren’t, so if you are guilty of this dangerous habit while on the roads, you need to put an end to it immediately. Install a hands-free kit into your car if you really do need to use your phone while on the road, but we emphasize the word ‘need,’ because other than emergency and urgent work-related situations, you shouldn’t have to use your phone at all. You could always pull over to the side of the road if you were desperate to check a text or make a call, or you could download one of these safe driver apps which will help you to be a safer, less-distracted driver.
Habit #4: Running red lights
Sorry, but your excuse of ‘I’m color blind’ won’t wash when the police pull you over for running a red light. Sure, we know traffic lights are inconvenient, and we know that they only seem to change color when we’re approaching them (as if somebody is purposefully trying to ruin our day), but despite your inclination to put your foot down on yellow to beat the stopping light, you really need to curb your instincts and slow down. You might only find yourself in a head-on collision otherwise, either with another driver or a pedestrian. At the very least, you might also get a driving fine. According to this website, red light running crashes are on the rise, with over 800 fatalities recorded each year, so be warned – don’t add to the statistics!
You wouldn’t intentionally seek to harm yourself. You wouldn’t purposefully cause harm to another. But you might do both of those things if you don’t curb your dangerous driving habits. So, if we have struck a nerve with you today, start to practice safer driving, for all of our sakes.