5 Dangerous Driving Habits to Break
What if a few simple changes in your driving habits could significantly reduce your chances of being in an auto accident? Car accidents are the top ten cause of death list consistently year after year. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), over 35,000 people die each year from injuries caused by an auto accident. Reduce your chances by avoiding these dangerous driving habits.
Alcohol and driving is a deadly combination and accounts for one-third of auto accident fatalities. In fact, according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), in the United States, 27 people are killed every day in accidents involving alcohol. That is more than one death every hour! With modern technology, it is simpler than ever. If you don’t already have a designated driver, consider the user-friendly apps like Uber and Lyft, call a taxi or friend, or use public transportation. Use common sense and never get in a car with a driver under the influence.
Just as dangerous as drunk driving is driving while drowsy. Many people don’t even realize how tired they are. If you start to nod or your eyelids get heavy, pull off the road to a safe location and take a rest. It is estimated that 100,000 accidents a year are the result of drowsy driving. Not only is your judgment compromised when tired but reaction time is slower. Make sure you are well rested when getting in the driver’s seat.
As technology evolves, distracted driving becomes a more prevalent problem. No longer are music, reading, eating, shaving, and putting on makeup the main distractions. Mobile devices are taking over, and distracted driving is worse than ever. Many states have put laws into effect banning the use of handheld devices or texting and driving, but we still see it on the roads every day. Many car manufacturers offer voice activated features as well to keep eyes on the road and hands on the wheel. Limit the distractions in your vehicle and always remember, a text or social media post can wait, it’s not worth a death!
According to IIHS, speed is a contributing factor in more than a quarter of all auto accident fatalities. Speed limits are carefully configured and represent the safe speed for that road and area. Speeding reduces the time you have to avoid an accident especially if you don’t allow the proper space between you and the vehicle in front of you. Just as driving too fast is a hazard, so is driving too slow. Always know the posted speed limit and adjust your speed accordingly. Adjust your speed accordingly.
Not Wearing a Seat Belt
Always wear your seat belt whether you are driving around the corner or on a road trip. It is a fact that wearing your seat belt saves lives, period! Buckling up is the single most effective way to avoid injury and death during an accident. Not only is it the law in most states but according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), seat belts save almost 14,000 lives in 2015 alone. And thanks to the national campaign, Click It or Ticket, seat belt use is at an all-time high.
Unfortunately, car accidents will never be non-existent but there are many things we as drivers can do to reduce our risk. Just think how much safer the roads could be if all drivers were more diligent and aware. Break these dangerous driving habits immediately and drive responsibly. Your life and your passengers depend on it.