10 of the Biggest Mistakes People Make While Driving

Cars are an essential part of our everyday life. While many people have their driver’s license before they get their own car, they still may make some big mistakes while driving. These mistakes can ultimately lead drivers into an accident that can be fatal or life-changing. Here’s a look at 10 of the biggest mistakes people make while driving and why these can be deadly.

1. Driving slow in the left lane

According to Erie Insurance, one of the biggest mistakes people make while behind the wheel is driving slowly in the left lane. This is because, in many places, the left lane of a highway is for people in faster cars or people who want to pass. By being slow in the left lane, drivers can potentially cause other drivers to engage in riskier driving. 

2. Driving when tired or distracted

A distracted driver on their phone, one of the biggest mistakes people make while driving.
Distracted driver | Getty Images

As many people know, it’s essential to keep your eyes on the road, which is tough to do when you’re sleepy or on your phone. This is why it’s crucial to get enough rest before driving, especially on long road trips. Drivers should also avoid getting distracted, as it can even be illegal in some states. 

3. Staying in a truck’s blind spot

Semi-trucks are the biggest vehicles on the road, and an accident involving one can be fatal. That’s why it’s important to stay out of a truck’s blind spot so they can see and react to you. Like Erie Insurance wrote, the rule of thumb is: “If you can’t see the driver in his side mirror, he can’t see you either.” 

4. Speeding and inconsistent speeding

Driving at high speeds is another common mistake that can lead to disaster. That’s why you should try not to go above the speed limit, and it’s also important to cruise at around the same speed. This allows other drivers to know what to expect from you and keep traffic flowing safely.

5. Relying on safety features

Smart safety features can be invaluable, but drivers should not rely on them to stay safe. Ultimately, you are the most critical safety feature in a car, paying attention to the road and driving at safe speeds is important. 

6. Not using turning signals or mirrors

One way to stay safe is by using your signals and mirrors. If drivers don’t use these features, they’re not sending or getting as much information as they could be. 

7. Keeping your brights on

Brights are very useful at night, but drivers should be aware of the side effects they may have on others. Brights can be so bright that they blind other drivers, so it’s crucial only to use brights if there isn’t much traffic around you.

8. Not yielding to oncoming traffic 

According to Erie Insurance, the safest thing is to yield to other cars when they’re trying to merge. In many states, those cars also have the right of way. 

9. Tailgating and road rage

Tailgating can lead to a rear-end collision, and in some cases, it can also lead to road rage incidents. These things should be avoided, as they can escalate a traffic inconvenience into a life or death situation. Drivers should not let their anger get the best of them, and drivers should maintain a safe distance from other cars. 

10. Hard braking

Another big mistake is hard braking. This is because, at highway speeds, it will take a while for a car to slow down to safe speeds. This is all the more reason drivers should avoid tailgating, as hard braking can lead to a rear-end collision with the tailgater.

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