9 Bad Driving Habits to Avoid

Portrait of a distracted young woman looking at her smartphone and putting lipstick on while driving a car

Driving a car can be an enjoyable way to get from place to place, but it must be taken seriously. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, roughly 67,000 people are injured in a car accident every day. Making an effort to drive safe and learning accident prevention techniques at a driving safety course can help curb that statistic. However, the best method to lower your risk of getting into a car accident is to eliminate any bad driving habits you’ve acquired.

Having poor driving habits doesn’t always mean that you are a bad driver or that you regularly get slapped with a traffic violation. Many skilled drivers can get into an unnecessary and preventable collisions due to risky behaviors. Here’s a list of some of the most common habits that lead to dangerous driving and possible injury.

1. Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is one of most easily preventable yet hardest habits to break for bad drivers. Texting and driving, driving with your earbuds in, and other actions that prevent your eyes and ears from monitoring the road can often lead to collisions. It is important to keep focus on the road ahead to properly avoid possible danger. Don’t answer your phone until you’re safely parked.

If you want to listen to music, don’t wear earbuds. Listen through your car’s speakers at a low volume. This way you’ll be able to hear any car horns, ambulances, or other audible warnings as you drive.

2. Driving While Impaired

It is important that your mind is in top form when you’re behind the wheel. Drunk driving isn’t just a risk of getting your license suspended or revoked due to a DUI, it’s a legitimate safety hazard for you and other drivers in traffic. Your reaction time is slower and your focus is shot when you’re drunk.

Driving under the influence isn’t just about alcohol or recreational drugs either. Certain medications can also affect your ability to properly operate your vehicle. Make sure that you look at the labels of your medicine to see if it will affect your performance or if it outright tells you not to operate any machinery.

3. Not Wearing Seat Belts

According to the NSC, drivers have 50% less of a chance of being injured in a crash if they buckled up. It is important to remember to strap in with your seat belt in order to be properly protected. Being forgetful could cost you your life.

4. Speeding

Speed limits exist for a reason. The faster you drive, the less control you have of your vehicle. The other danger is that an obstacle appears in your path and you have less reaction time to avoid it.

5. Rolling Through Stop Signs and Lights

Rolling past a stop sign or a red light can highly increase your chances of a collision. If the intersection isn’t a four-way stop, a car could easily collide into you from the side. This is avoidable if you pay attention to stop signs or traffic lights and proceed accordingly.

6. Driving While Tired

Being drowsy while driving is like driving while drunk. Your reaction time is slower and your focus is compromised. Make sure you have a good night’s rest before getting behind the wheel. If you feel yourself getting drowsy, pull over to a safe place to park and take a quick nap.

7. Neglecting the Weather

Driving in wet or frozen conditions isn’t the same as driving on a sunny day. There typically is lower visibility and it is harder to maneuver a vehicle through any rain or snow. Listen to the weather forecast before you drive, be mindful of the slicker road surfaces, and slow down to allow more space between you and other vehicles.

8. Failing to Use Your Turn Signal

It is important to use your turn signal at least 100 feet before you make your move. Whether it is to change lanes or turn at intersections, your turn signal helps other drivers know where you intend to go. It also helps pedestrians nearby know where you’re going to be if they cross the street. A simple flick of the wrist at every turn can prevent potential injury and hundreds of dollars worth of damage.

9. Neglecting Basic Car Care

A dirty windshield can affect your visibility, bald tires can affect your maneuverability, a broken light can prevent other cars to see where you’re turning, and so on. Failing to maintain your vehicle or make minor repairs can lead to accidents and major damage if left unaddressed. Regularly get a tune up, rotate your tires, wash your car, and do other forms of car care to ensure that your vehicle is in top shape for the road.

Even if you stop your bad driving habits, accidents can still happen. That’s why you should consider getting a quality car insurance plan from Freeway Insurance. Freeway offers a wide variety of cheap car insurance rates from the top providers in the country. Get a free car insurance quote online or give us a call to get quality, affordable protection today.