Whether you took driver’s education recently, long ago, or not at all, you must continue to assess your driving habits. The most common dangerous driving habits can increase your risk of an accident.
For your own safety, and the safety of others on the roadways, make a point of avoiding these mistakes. If you do get into an accident thanks to someone else’s dangerous driving habits, a car accident attorney can help you hold them accountable.
Driving Under the Influence
It is never a good idea to drive after drinking alcohol. You may not be able to determine how much you have consumed or the effects the alcohol has produced. Even if you are not drunk, alcohol impairs your judgment, your ability to react quickly, and your driving skills.
Impaired driving does not only involve alcohol. The same is true for illegal drugs and certain prescription medications. Any product that is considered a mind-altering substance makes driving dangerous.
Driving without adequate sleep is a common cause of accidents. Whether you did not get enough sleep the previous night or have been driving for many hours, you should not drive when you are tired.
Make sure you have had plenty of sleep before you get behind the wheel, or ask someone else to drive for you.
Speed limits exist for a reason. Unfortunately, many individuals do not take these limits seriously. For the sake of yourself, other drivers, and pedestrians, always obey the speed limits posted in the areas where you drive.
Not Observing Special Conditions
There is an exception to speed limits. In some cases, safe driving means driving below the posted limits. Examples include slower driving when weather conditions affect the roadways or your visibility, roadways that are not properly maintained, or construction occurring in the areas where you are driving. When you notice any of these situations, you must reduce your driving speed.
Distracted driving is dangerous driving, and there are many ways it can occur. Any activity that takes your eyes and attention off the road is in this category.
You are engaging in distracted driving if you use a cell phone while behind the wheel. Driving is not the time to text or make phone calls. You should never eat, shave, apply cosmetics, or turn and talk to passengers in the back seat. If you need to do any of these activities, park your car first.
Even if you are not speeding, you can still drive recklessly and cause an accident. Individuals who are in a hurry, angry, or believe their driving skills are better than other drivers’ often pass when they should not, accelerate and brake, and weave through other traffic.
Not Wearing a Seat Belt
Seat belts exist for a reason, too. Buckle your belt before you put the key in the ignition. Inform all of your passengers that you will not drive until their seat belts are buckled. If an accident does occur, seat belts can save your lives.
Failing to Signal
Turn signals have a purpose. The signals allow other drivers to know what you intend to do. It only takes a second to use the signal before you turn.
Not Maintaining Your Car
Your visibility can be impaired by dirty windows. You cannot handle your car properly if the tires are bald. If your lights are not working properly, it affects your ability to see and can interfere with other drivers’ ability to see your car.
If you follow another car too closely, it affects both your time to stop and your visibility. Both issues increase your risk of an accident.
If any of these dangerous driving habits sound familiar, it is time to make some changes. You can become a safe driver, and everyone on the roadways will benefit.