How to Stop Bad Driving Behaviors
We are all creatures of habit—and when it comes to driving, it's the same. Whether intentional or unintentional (driving on "autopilot"), it can quickly become a safety issue for everyone sharing the road when we engage in bad driving behaviors. Avoiding a motor vehicle crash means driving defensively and keeping our eyes on the road. However, some of these driving maneuvers keep us from making better decisions when behind the wheel. Here are the top worst driving habits to stop doing now.
- Using Devices While Driving
It's common knowledge that cell phone use while driving is one of the most notorious ways people are involved in car accidents. However, other devices can cause us to take our eyes off the road, such as playing with the radio and using navigation systems. Before putting your vehicle into drive:
- Put your phone where you can't reach it.
- Set your GPS coordinates.
- Set your favorite music station for the duration of your ride.
- Driving With Your Earbuds In
Since earbuds are becoming more and more popular, as they make it easy to listen to music and do other things while talking, it's never a good idea to have them in your ears when behind the wheel. Using earbuds or headphones can impair your hearing senses and can lead to an accident if your senses are impaired.
Under Florida Statute 316.303, it's illegal to wear a headset, headphone, or another listening device other than a hearing aid instrument while driving. It also states one exception to the rule — you can have one ear attached to a listening device, and surrounding sounds can be heard with the other ear. However, this is still not recommended. Even when using your earbuds as a way to talk and drive hands-free, it can still be a distraction.
- Changing Lanes Without Signaling
Our cars are equipped with signaling capabilities for safety reasons. While it may seem harmless to switch lanes without turning on your signal, other drivers behind you are unaware of your intention to change lanes. If a car is fast approaching behind you, it could mean a car crash in the blink of an eye.
Speeding is probably one of the most dangerous driving habits to engage in. Not only can it cause you to lose control of your vehicle when going at high speeds, but it can also cause you to run red lights and stop signs when you don't have ample time to stop. Abiding by speed limits can significantly reduce your risk of being involved in a car accident.
- Not Wearing Your Seatbelt
Should you be involved in a motor vehicle crash, having your seatbelt on can save your life. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2020, 90.3% of Americans used their seatbelts while riding in a vehicle. The NHTSA also cites that seat belt use saved an estimated 14,955 lives in 2017. So remember always to buckle up!
Related Article: How Defensive Driving Can Prevent a Car Accident
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