There are many behind-the-wheel behaviors that may seem like no big deal but are in fact very dangerous habits.
We all know we should drive safer, but rarely do we take the time to change our actions.
Here are five common unsafe driving habits everyone should abandon. These habits can cause accidents or make accidents worse. You can’t control what other drivers do or don’t do, but you can control yourself.
Driving while distracted
So many everyday activities can be dangerous to attempt behind the wheel.
Anything that takes your attention away from the road is a distraction. Texting or talking on a phone are some of the most common.
Applying make-up, eating, or fiddling with the radio or temperature controls are some other common distractions, as are taking care of pets or children.
If you need to engage in any activity while on the road, try to delegate that to a passenger or pull over.
Drafting behind a tractor trailer
While drafting does increase fuel economy, the risk is not worth the reward. Following close enough to get the benefit of drafting means you risk not having enough time to react to the truck breaking suddenly.
Also, the truck driver will not be able to see you.
Ignoring a crack in your windshield
A crack in your window is much more than just an annoyance. If these are not fixed, they can cause visibility issues.
Your windshield is also an integral part of the support structure of your automobile. Failure of the windshield because of a crack can make an accident much worse than it would have been because the windshield is designed to help distribute forces on the vehicle during a crash.
Always get chips and cracks checked out as soon as possible. Services like Mr Go-Glass can even repair chips, which makes it cheaper for you in the long run when you don’t have to replace an entire windshield.
Failing to use turn signals
Your turn signals alert other drivers of your intentions on the road. They tell the drivers following you that you are slowing down to turn, or that you are changing lanes.
Even if no one is behind you, your turn signal is seen from the front as well, and helps drivers going the opposite way know if you are attempting a left turn. If you don’t use a signal other drivers will not know what to expect from you.
Accelerating through yellow lights
Trying to beat a red light is a game you do not want to play. Some lights stay yellow longer than others, and it is quite possible that the light will be red by the time you get to the intersection.
Other drivers will expect to be able to go as soon as their light turns green and won’t always wait or be looking for you.
Being more aware of your driving habits will go a long way in helping to correct them, but keep in mind that other drivers slip into the same bad habits. Another way to combat your own, as well as the bad habits of others, is to take a course in defensive driving.
Anything that you can do to stay safer on the road will be worth it.
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