Teenagers get a lot of attention about their bad driving habits, but experienced drivers can be guilty as well.
The second-nature aspect that occurs after years on the road is often just as dangerous. If you drive a lot, you probably see or experience near-misses every day because someone isn’t paying attention.
But, let’s face it – you’re no angel. As driver safety blogger Alex Perdikis points out, it doesn’t matter how many safety features your car has, if you’ve become complacent, nothing will keep you safe. It’s time to take a look at yourself. How many bad driving habits do you have?
- Loud, Loud and Louder – Not So Good
Picture it: a gorgeous young couple flies down the highway in a convertible as the music blares. It is a blissful picture, isn’t it? Music and driving were made for each other. What’s the problem? Perhaps nothing if the volume is turned down and you’re not distracted. But, most of us don’t drive that way.
We like our music and we like it loud. We have to sing along, tap to the beat and, well, you know. If the music is so loud you can’t hear emergency vehicle sirens, horns blowing and the sound of the road, you’re asking for trouble. Turn the volume down.
- How’s That Egg McMuffin?
You’re late, no time for breakfast, right? That’s OK. There’s always the drive-up. You can grab an Egg McMuffin and eat on the way. Everyone does it, but no one should.
Eating while driving is one of the most common forms of distracted driving there is. Not only are you concentrating on food instead of driving, you most likely take one or both hands off the wheel. Not good!
- Yellow Means Go!
Yellow doesn’t mean go and you know it. A yellow light doesn’t mean speed up. It doesn’t mean you plow through the intersection so you can get to your destination a few seconds earlier than if you’d stopped. Do you really need to be reminded? Probably not, but it happens all of the time.
- What’s a Turn Signal?
Do you want to make drivers around you angry and put yourself in danger at the same time? If so, “forget” to use your turn signal. Perhaps at the last minute you realized you were in the wrong lane and suddenly swerved over with no warning. Maybe you became distracted, almost missed your turn and veered over. It’s not your fault – you didn’t have time to signal. Really? That is not going to be an acceptable excuse if you cause an accident, is it?
- How Fast is Too Fast?
It’s OK to drive over the speed limit. Everyone does it. And, the faster you go the faster you get to your destination. Speeding really is the American Way. You’ve probably said any one of those things to yourself at some point. That doesn’t make it OK.
The dangers of speeding, whether it’s going over the speed limit or driving too fast for conditions, are many. Speeding is the third leading contributory factor of traffic accidents and occurs in 33 percent of all fatal crashes. And the truth is that you really don’t gain a lot of time when you speed. A few minutes at most, unless you’re pulled over. If that happens, you’re going to be really late! And considerably poorer.
You’ve probably noticed we haven’t covered the biggies, such as drinking and driving, using your cellphone while you drive, ignoring traffic signs, cutting people off and engaging in road rage contests with other drivers. If you have to be reminded that those habits are dangerous, put your license in the drawer and pick up a bus schedule. We’ll all be safer if you do.