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Driving is a particularly dangerous activity. However, because of the number of times you’ve gotten behind the wheel of a car and survived it is easy to forget just how dangerous it is. Even if you believe that you are a good driver, you may be doing these nine unintentional driving habits making roads less safe. While the number of motor vehicle deaths has decreased significantly since the 1970s—thanks to advancements in vehicle safety technology — a new report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) notes that there has been an increase in the number of fatal crashes involving SUVs and large trucks.
SUVs are increasingly becoming America’s vehicle of choice. Because of their size, they often make drivers believe that are in a safer vehicle. As a result, drivers may allow themselves to slip into bad habits that make traveling less safe.
Driver error is often the primary cause of a wreck. No matter the size of your vehicle, you should always practice safe driving habits. Avoid slipping into the following bad driving habits to keep the roads safe.
What driving habits make roads less safe?
Driving requires a significant amount of alertness and focus. However, over time as we become more confident drivers, we have the tendency to become more relaxed and bend the rules a little more. When you are driving, it is important to be mindful of what you’re doing that could put you and others in danger.
1. Eating and Driving
Eating and driving is one of the most common forms of distracted driving. A person who is eating while operating a motor vehicle is 80% more likely to get be involved in a car crash, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
2. Ignoring Traffic Signs
The number of pedestrians killed in accidents involving SUVs has skyrocketed by 81 percent in the last 10 years. Stop signs and yield signs exist for a reason. Taking a moment’s pause to double-check there are no children or pedestrians saves lives. In addition, cars can come out of nowhere and motorcycles are hard to see.
3. Failure to Check Blind Spots
Whether you’re driving on the highway or backing out, SUV blind spots are a notorious cause for crashes. Drivers who fail to check their blind spots before moving into another lane can collide with other vehicles. Check your mirrors and turn your head to make sure you are safe to switch lanes.
4. Failure to Use Turn Signals
Not just limited to SUVs, not using your turn signals is a sure-fire way to put yourself in harm’s way. Changing lanes or turning without letting the cars behind you know can lead to rear-end crashes. Good drivers let other drivers know what their intended actions are.
Because of their size and weight, larger cars can do significant damage to smaller cars on the road. Tailgating can lead to rear-end crashes to petty actions such as brake checking. It’s best to just go around a slow-moving vehicle when it is safe to do so.
6. Driving Above the Posted Speed Limit
Speeding is the most ticketed driving offense. Driving above the speed limit is a key factor in car crashes. In addition, speed also contributes to how severe a crash is, as well as more serious injuries.
7. Reckless Driving
Changing lanes too quickly, driving well above the limit and aggression on the roads can lead to preventable, yet serious crashes.
8. Share the Road
Merging is simply a part of the driving experience. Letting a car into your lane isn’t going to stop you from reaching your destination.
9. Accelerating When the Light Turns Yellow
Many people have come to view the yellow light as a warning to speed up to make it through a light. However, the yellow light’s purpose is to warn you to slow down to a complete stop for the red light. Speeding through yellow lights is one of the worst habits a driver can have. Often, you don’t have enough to make it through the light. You risk running a red light and colliding with a vehicle that had the actual green light.
10. Cell Phone Use
We know! This is one of the more obvious bad driving habits, such as drinking and driving; however, it’s also one of the most common offenses. With nearly every app sending push notifications it can be easy to give in to the temptation of looking at your phone while behind the wheel. However, even just a quick glance puts you and others at risk. It’s best to pull over or wait until you reach your destination to check your phone, read a text or make a call.
Take our risky driving quiz to find out if you’re a risky driver!
The Carlson Law Firm Can Help
Even if you are a mindful driver, it’s possible to be injured by another person’s bad driving habits. For more than 40 years, we have been defending the rights of injured Texas. Our compassionate personal injury attorneys can help you get the compensation you deserve for your injuries or loss. Our firm will fight for you as we help you navigate your personal injury claim.
With 13 locations across Texas, there is a Carlson Law Firm office near you. Find a personal injury attorney near me.