Safe driving is crucial for everyone on the road. It not only protects the driver and passengers, but also pedestrians and other drivers. However, sometimes we may not realize that our driving habits can be dangerous. Here are 7 things to stop doing to become a safer driver.
Distracted driving is any activity that diverts attention away from driving. Examples of distracted driving include using a cellphone, eating, applying makeup, and adjusting the radio. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted driving claimed 3,142 lives in 2019 alone. To avoid distracted driving, it’s important to stay focused on the road and eliminate any potential distractions.
Speeding is one of the most common causes of accidents. It not only reduces the driver’s reaction time but also increases the severity of the crash. Reasons for speeding include being late, road rage, and simply enjoying the thrill of speed. According to the NHTSA, speeding contributed to 9,378 deaths in 2019. To avoid speeding, it’s important to plan ahead and give yourself plenty of time to reach your destination.
Impaired driving is operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Not only is it illegal, but it’s also extremely dangerous. Impaired driving slows reaction time, impairs vision, and decreases coordination. According to the NHTSA, in 2019, 28% of all traffic fatalities were due to impaired driving. To avoid impaired driving, always plan ahead and designate a sober driver.
Aggressive driving is any behavior behind the wheel that’s intended to intimidate or harass other drivers. Examples include tailgating, honking, and weaving in and out of traffic. Aggressive driving not only puts the driver at risk, but it also endangers everyone else on the road. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, aggressive driving contributes to over half of all traffic fatalities. To avoid aggressive driving, try to remain calm and patient while on the road.
Driving While Tired
Driving while tired is just as dangerous as impaired driving. When a driver is fatigued, their reaction time slows down and they may have trouble staying alert. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drowsy driving causes an estimated 72,000 crashes each year. To avoid driving while tired, get enough sleep before hitting the road and take frequent breaks if needed.
Related: Steps to Take After a Car Accident
Failing to Use Seat Belts
Seat belts are the most effective safety feature in vehicles. However, many people still fail to use them. Not wearing a seat belt increases the risk of injury or death in a crash. According to the NHTSA, in 2019, 47% of all passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes were not wearing seat belts. To always use seat belts, make it a habit and enforce it with passengers.
Ignoring Traffic Signs and Signals
Traffic signs and signals are put in place to keep drivers and pedestrians safe. Ignoring them not only puts the driver at risk but also endangers everyone else on the road. Examples of ignoring traffic signs and signals include running red lights and not stopping at stop signs. To always obey traffic signs and signals, be alert and aware of your surroundings.
In conclusion, safe driving is everyone’s responsibility. By avoiding these 7 things, you can become a safer driver and help prevent accidents on the road. Remember to always stay focused, plan ahead, and follow the rules of the road. Stay safe out there!
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