Defensive Driving: 6 Hazardous Driving Habits

Putting a priority on road safety is essential to have safer roads for the public. That’s why many have instituted defensive driving courses to educate drivers on ways to improve their driving habits. In fact, the fatality rate for young people under 21 years of age drops by up to 50% after taking a defensive driving class.

Now, of course, not everyone has the time or resources to sing up for a defensive driving course. That’s why we’ve built out a list of the 6 most dangerous road driving habits among drivers.

#1) Weaving In and Out of Lanes

Changing lanes constantly with the purpose of trying to pass nearby traffic is a form of reckless driving and puts the road safety of other drivers at risk. Driving aggressively is also one of the most common causes of car accidents. In addition to it being a dangerous habit, this type of aggression on the road can cause other drivers to feel defensive and anxious.

Even if a driver feels like they’re saving lots of time by constantly weaving in and out of lanes to get ahead of the traffic, the truth is that the time saving is so minimal that the amount of people a driver endangers isn’t worth it.

Check out what the Discovery channel's Mythbusters team discovered about the myth of staying in one lane versus changing lanes.

#2) Failure to Yield Right of Way

There’s a plethora of situations where a driver must yield the right of way, whether to another driver, cyclists, or a pedestrian. The failure occurs when a driver ignores the right of way rules and proceeds with little regard for others on the road. Defensive driving is very important in these situations since in 2015, not giving up the right of way represented almost 7% of the factors related to drivers and motorcyclists involved in fatal accidents.

The safest things to do, to maintain road safety are to yield the right of way and try to establish eye contact with other drivers on the road, to minimize the chances of being involved in an accident.

#3) Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol

It’s entirely clear that driving a vehicle involves concentration and mental coordination. But, the influence of alcohol makes it harder to think quickly and reduces a driver’s ability to concentrate. Generally, the higher the alcohol consumption, the more likely a person is to be involved in an accident.

In addition to putting everyone's safety at risk, if stopped by a police officer, they are likely to examine blood alcohol concentration level, known as BAC. If the percentage of the concentration of alcohol in the blood passes a specific threshold number (0.08%), you can be charged with a DUI (driving under the influence) or DWI (driving while impaired).

#4) Speeding

It doesn’t matter if the excess speed is of 10 or 30 miles per hour. Speeding is illegal for good reasons. Even the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that speeding can lead to a long list of consequences. A few of them include the reduced effectiveness of safety equipment inside the vehicle, a greater potential for loss of control of the car, and a greater severity of a collision (which leads to more serious injuries).

#5) Not Placing Close Attention to Road Conditions

Defensive driving is essential during the winter seasons or in extreme rain conditions. Think about it, with a little bit of ice on the road or with fog in the streets, the visibility level of a driver can be severely limited.

So, what preventative steps can drivers take to maintain road safety? The most important thing is to reduce your speed. It doesn’t matter if other drivers want to drive at an excessive speed because when it comes to visibility problems, the wisest thing is to slow down. Also, having essential items such as a first aid kit, a car battery jump starter kit, and a set of clothes wouldn’t hurt at all.

#6) Tailgating (Following Too Closely)

Tailgating involves driving too close to the vehicle in front of you, to the point that the distance between the two cars makes it hard to avoid an accident by simply braking. Logically, driving aggressively with very little space between two vehicles reduces the reaction time a driver has to take action in an unexpected situation.

Typically, the rule of thumb is to focus on staying 10 feet away from the car in front, for every 10 miles per hour. For example, if you are driving at 50 mph, it’s practical to stay about 50 feet away.

No matter how many years of driving experience you have, the importance of defensive driving and road safety is essential. Also, make sure you have a team of reliable people at your service when driving your vehicle. Call an Infinity agent at 1-800-INFINITY or get an online quote today.

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