One of the most interesting wonders of this world is road rage. We are all in such a hurry to get where we’re going (even if we’re not on a time limit) that the slightest driver infraction sets us off. The ironic thing is, we often don’t recognize our own driving bad habits.
However, if you were to put yourself in the seat of other drivers who share the road with you, you may realize you’re the cause of someone else’s road rage. Not sure what you could be doing wrong? We’re here to provide some examples.
Keep reading to see if you’re guilty of any of the following bad driving habits.
1. Using Your Phone While Driving
One of the most dangerous examples of bad driving habits is using a phone while driving. It causes roughly 1.6 million car accidents a year and is responsible for 14% of fatal accidents.
If you have a hands-free device, there’s nothing wrong with having a phone conversation while driving. However, the majority of drivers use their phones while driving to text, read emails, and more.
Unfortunately, most people overestimate their ability to multi-task while using their phones. Even though, realistically, people can hardly hold a conversation with someone while their phone is in their hands.
2. Not Wearing Your Seatbelt
Another one of the most dangerous driving bad habits is failing to wear your seatbelt. Some people don’t care, others find it uncomfortable, and some people just like to be a rebel. Either way, not wearing your seatbelt can be a fatal mistake if you should get into a car accident.
Each year, seatbelts save nearly 15,000 lives of people involved in car accidents. According to the same source, an additional 2,500 could have been saved had the victims been wearing their seatbelts.
3. Driving While Intoxicated
Of all the bad driving habits to avoid, you should never drive while under the influence of alcohol or any other mind-altering substance. It’s all too easy to think you’re okay to drive after a few drinks.
But don’t be fooled, small amounts of alcohol can impair your decision making, slow down your reaction time, and impair your vision and ability to focus. You may have driven while intoxicated before without facing negative consequences. However, all it takes is one time to alter your or someone else’s life forever.
If you find yourself facing a DUI or DWI charges, you need to find a DWI lawyer immediately.
4. Trying to Make the Light Before It Turns Red
A bad driving habit to avoid is trying to get through an intersection before the yellow light turns red. While we understand the impulse to get through the light so you don’t have to wait the extra few minutes before getting on your way, it can be dangerous.
While speeding through, you’re looking up at the light, not paying attention to other vehicles. Not only that, but you’re speeding up to get through the light quickly, which can be even more dangerous.
If another motorist was trying to beat the light and turn left, you would collide. You also run the risk of hitting pedestrians.
5. Following Other Motorists Too Closely
Slow drivers can be annoying, especially when they’re going five or more miles per hour under the speed limit. Even if you aren’t on a time crunch, you don’t want to get stuck behind them.
This doesn’t give you the validation to tailgate them. It’s a common method road ragers use to show the person in front of them they disapprove of their slow driving. However, following someone too closely can end tragically if they have to stop quickly due to something in front of them.
You won’t have enough time and space to react and will likely slam into the back of them. It will be your fault and you’ll be liable for the damages.
6. Getting Distracted
Innocent-natured bad habits include being easily distracted on the road. This can come in many forms, such as:
- Talking to passengers
- Having a pet in the vehicles with you
- Looking at things outside your window other than the road (accidents, buildings, people, rainbows, rainclouds, etc.)
- Trying to get a piece of gum out of your pocket or purse
- Changing the radio station
As much as possible, keep your eyes on the road while driving to avoid adding to the bad driving habits statistics.
7. Multi-Tasking While Driving
Speaking of getting distracted by driving, it’s possible to purposely distract yourself, which can be incredibly reckless. We already talked about using your phone so we’ll skip that one in this bad driving habits list.
However, there is no lack of multi-tasking activities people attempt to do while driving. These include:
- Putting on makeup
- Picking your nose
- Changing socks and/or shoes
- Pulling out a laptop
- Putting one or both feet up on the dash
These things may sound ridiculous, but they wouldn’t be on the list if people didn’t do them.
As a general rule, most of us go a few miles an hour over the speed limit. There’s no point in denying it.
To stay safe and avoid getting a ticket, we recommend keeping it within five miles per hour of the limit. However, you should never speed in an area with an altered speed limit due to pedestrians, like around parks or schools.
Also, recognize that excessive speeding is incredibly dangerous to you, other drivers, and pedestrians. Speed limits are designated for each road because of several circumstances, such as traffic, pedestrian activity, how long it takes to stop, intersections, and more.
9. Failing to Check Your Blind Spots
When changing lanes especially, one of the most inconsiderate driving bad habits is failing to check your blind spots. You can’t see every angle out of your rearview and side mirrors alone. If you don’t check your blind spot, you could run directly into a vehicle right beside you.
If the motorist beside you is a bike, they’ll be even less visible in your mirrors, and running into them could be fatal.
10. Accelerating Quickly
Once again, when we get into our cars, most of us suddenly become very concerned with time. We have to get wherever we’re going as fast as possible. For many of us, this entails romping on the accelerator after being stopped at intersections.
This bad driving habit can be dangerous, especially in the winter. Hitting the gas too hard can cause you to drift or spin out, potentially colliding with other vehicles. Not to mention, having a lead foot will cost you more in gas.
11. Using Your Horn for Road-Rage
One of the most annoying bad driving habits is when people use their horn to convey their disapproval or anger at other drivers. There’s nothing worse than the driver who lays on the horn for a solid 20 seconds to prove a point. We get it, they’re really upset.
Unfortunately, this can be a major distraction to other drivers. They may look around to see what’s going on and end up slamming into the car in front of them, whose driver is likely doing the same thing.
Furthermore, laying on the horn and catching the other motorist on a bad day may lead to an escalated confrontation. And no one wants that.
There are good reasons and bad reasons to use your horn. Know the difference.
12. Leaving Your Brights On
Turning on your brights on an empty road to help illuminate your way is absolutely advisable. However, you must remember to turn them off as other drivers are approaching. You’ve no doubt been blinded yourself by people who’ve accidentally left their brights on.
Naturally, this has the potential to cause accidents, even after the moment has passed as the other driver’s eyes are readjusting.
13. Sitting in the Passing Lane When You’re Not Passing
On most highways and busy roadways, there are two or more lanes on each side. This gives slower motorists the right lane to go the speed limit or driver slower and faster motorists the left lane to pass.
Don’t fall into driving bad habits of occupying the passing lane while you’re not passing anyone. This can be incredibly frustrating for other drivers who are trying to pass or are driving faster.
Even if you’re going over the speed limit in the left lane and someone comes speeding up from behind, it’s not your duty to slow them down. Simply move over to the right lane and get out of their way.
14. Driving Below the Speed Limit
Speaking of slow drivers, try not to be one of them. If you drive a big rig that struggles on hills, you can’t necessarily help it. However, this doesn’t apply to the average driver.
Make sure you’re staying apprised of the speed limit to avoid causing congested roadways by driving too slowly. This is especially important on single-land roads.
15. Not Using Your Turn Signals
Finally, understand that even the best and most alert drivers make poor mind-readers. If you’re going to turn or change lanes, make sure you use your turn signal. It’s a common courtesy to let other drivers know what you’re going to do.
Furthermore, it can help prevent car accidents. Sadly, it’s one of the most common driving bad habits.
Do You Have Driving Bad Habits?
Be honest, were you guilty of some of the driving bad habits listed above? If so, it’s okay. Really, no one’s perfect.
However, to avoid accidents, injuries, and worse, you should probably work on those. Until then, be sure to check out some of our other articles before you go for more great advice and information. Just don’t do it while you’re driving.