When applying for a driver’s license, everyone must learn about car safety and how to follow the rules of the road. Unfortunately, as time goes by, drivers seem to forget what they learned from the Department of Motor Vehicles. Many drivers develop hard-to-break bad driving habits, resulting in traffic violations and unnecessary wear and tear on a vehicle. Even worse, many fatal accidents are the result of reckless driving. Here is a list of 7 Bad Driving Habits with helpful tips to break them today.
1. Distracted driving
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 3,142 fatalities caused by distracted driving. Any activity that takes the driver’s attention away from the road is considered dangerous. Texting, talking on the phone, eating or drinking, changing the radio station and more can be a distraction.
Drivers are obligated to protect their vehicle occupants, all surrounding motorists, and pedestrians. To end senseless accidents, drivers need to put down their phones. It is important to educate family members on the importance of developing safe driving habits. State Farm claims that “teen texting and driving is a major cause of accidents and fatal crashes, but most teens don’t see the danger.”
2. Running a red light is a bad driving habit
Motorists always seem to be in a hurry, and some are willing to run a red light to get where they are going. If you approach a traffic signal that has turned yellow before reaching the intersection, it is best to stop and wait for it to turn green again to decrease your risk of an accident. Get in the habit of slowing down, and next time you encounter a yellow traffic light, hit the brake instead of the gas pedal.
3. Rolling through a stop sign
Many drivers believe it is safe to roll through a stop sign without coming to a complete stop. Even if you think there is no oncoming traffic, always stay on the side of caution and stop before going through the intersection. Get in the habit of stopping and looking both ways before proceeding. Failing to do so could result in a moving traffic violation or an accident.
4. Speeding is a bad driving habit
It is time to stop putting the pedal to the metal. Speeding tickets can result in costly fines that can make a significant dent in your wallet. Speed limits are in place for the safety of motorists and pedestrians alike. Going too fast can result in deadly accidents and increase your risk of hitting another car or going off the road.
To change this bad habit, the first thing to do is take notice of posted speed limit signs. Obey the reduced speeds in residential areas and watch for school crossing signs. Setting your cruise control to the allowable speed limit can help you avoid speeding on highways and keep you and other motorists safe.
5. Running on Empty
With the price of gasoline rising at alarming rates, many drivers often have to wait for the next paycheck to fill up at the gas station. Unfortunately, running on fumes can damage your vehicle’s engine.
When there is not enough gas to power the car, the fuel filter starts to clog. Air infiltrates the system, and combustion is thrown out of whack. Expensive engine repairs will far outweigh the cost of filling up, so pack your lunch next week and make sure you always drive with at least a half tank of gas.
6. Sudden stops and fast starts are bad driving habits
There is nothing worse than having to slam on the brakes because a motorist failed to use a turn signal. Always alert other drivers and pedestrians to your intended movement 100 feet in advance by using your turn signal when changing lanes or making a turn.
Avoid sudden stops and always try to anticipate other drivers’ actions. Slowly pushing down on the brakes will prevent excessive wear and tear on the brake pads. Also, avoid the bad habit of fast acceleration, especially when coming from a complete stop. Not only will you use up gas much quicker, but you will put unnecessary strain on your vehicles’ engine components. Always accelerate and decelerate at a smooth and steady rate.
7. Slowing down to look at a crash
When motorists see flashing lights ahead, it is human nature to know what is going on. Drivers slow down to look at a traffic accident create a dangerous situation and contribute to a chain reaction of cars coming to a standstill to witness the scene.
Next time you come upon an accident or roadside obstacle, keep your eyes on the road ahead, stay alert for lane closures, and by all means, don’t be a rubbernecker.