There’s no such thing as a perfect driver. As much as a person abides by the speeding limit, at one time or another that same person is using a cell phone while driving or tailgating another car. Or a driver who has zero traffic tickets to his or her name may have a case of the lead foot and is just lucky to stay out of the watchful eye of the police.
Whether it’s driving distractions or just plain, aggressive driving, there are a number of errors we make behind the wheel.
Here’s a refined list of those mistakes:
- Drowsy Drivers: Early morning drives on less sleep reduces reaction time on the road. Long trips without a pit stop every now and then, or just being extremely exhausted on short trips are just a few examples. Put simply, drowsy driving is not safe for you and the other drivers sharing the road.
- Driving Angry: Getting behind the wheel when you’re stress levels are through the roof or you’re angry about some past or present issue is a bad concoction when mixed with driving. Instead of channeling your inner “road rage”, take a deep breath, relax and focus on getting to your destination safe and sound.
- Chatty Kathy: It’s no secret that talking on the phone while behind the wheel is hazardous. But with the sky-high popularity of texting, that hazard is ratcheted up even more. Statistics show 37% of brain activity is lost with just 5 or 10 seconds devoted to the phone while driving. That’s plenty of attention taken away from the roadways. Practice on putting your phone in the glovebox or middle console and know that pull over if you absolutely must use the phone.
- Turn Signals: Aside from speeding or rolling through a stop sign, not using your turn signals is one of the easiest ways to garner a ticket. Not signaling when switching lanes or or turning across traffic isn’t safe for the other drivers around you and can easily cause an unnecessary fender bender.
- Tailgating: Riding the bumper of the car in front of you is aggressive driving at its finest. While most drivers don’t necessarily follow the “2 car lengths” rule, leaving mere inches between your vehicle and theirs is just asking for an accident.
- Speeding: At the root of aggressive driving is speeding and the more miles a driver goes over the limit, the less room they’re essentially giving their car to brake properly.
- Low Tire Pressure: Driving on low pressure tires is bad for two reasons: poor fuel economy and higher risk for flat tires on a sharp turn or pothole.
- Fast Lane Fanatic: The fast lane should only be used for overtaking and should never be driven in for long stretches because it can create a blind spot for the cars next to you.
In the end, the one thing to take away from all these mistakes is that they can be remedied very easily. It’s all about driving with more care and patience, abiding by the written rules of the road and avoiding the little annoyances that can quickly turn into a fender bender, traffic ticket and a nice spike in your insurance premium.
Kyle is a freelance writer and regularly writes about the automotive industry, covering topics such as new and used car comparisons, vehicle maintenance and driver safety and has consulted for a local dealer in his hometown..