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If you consider yourself a safe driver, that might change after reading this list of the most dangerous driving habits. From biting your nails to following cars too closely, these habits need to squashed, starting now.
To guarantee a safer drive each time, if you eliminate each of these distractions and bad habits, you'll be golden. If you knew how badly you increase your chance of accident every day, you'd reconsider your driving habits drastically. Let's start today.
Under the Influence
Of course, we had to start off our list of the most dangerous driving habits with being under the influence while behind the wheel. As one of the most horrible ways to put not only your life at risk, but everyone else on the road's as well, driving under the influence does not just mean being drunk.
This term covers behind under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or medications. Alcohol has been involved in 16% of motor vehicle crashes, which is a harsh reality of the abuse of the drug. As it not only impairs your judgment, but your perception, coordination, and reaction time, so you should never get behind the wheel while under the influence.
No matter how confident you are in your ability to multi-task, taking your eyes away from the road for a single text will automatically increase your chances of getting into a crash by eight times. As one of the most dangerous driving habits, stop texting and driving.
Five percent of crashes involve this habit, and all of these accidents could have been easily avoided, if the texter would have simply ignored their phones. Keep it out of reach altogether, if you're going to be too tempted to reply; and even better, silence it.
Drowsy Driving/ Driving While Emotional
Driving while drowsy is surprisingly similar to driving while intoxicated. You would never get behind the wheel after six drinks, so why would you when you can barely keep your eyes open?
This is especially true if you find yourself getting drowsy after a long drive. Instead of continuing your trip, you should pull over, switch drivers, or take a short nap before you continue. All you need is a quick ten to 20 minutes to refresh, and you'll cut your chances of crashing in half.
What might seem like one of the most dangerous driving habits, refusing to wear a seatbelt is never a good idea. For whatever reasoning you have behind not wearing a seatbelt, there are ten better reasons to combat them.
As something that can very well save your life, your seatbelt is always something you are going to want to use to your advantage. No matter if you are driving down the road, to your neighbor's, or somewhere you drive every day, you truly never can know what will happen on those trips. It only takes a few seconds for anything to happen.
While you might believe that using your blinker will only benefit the drivers around you, it will also affect your own safety.
As a way to signal your next move, the other drivers on the road cannot read your mind, and if you are making a turn, changing lanes, or just pulling into your driveway, letting them know will allow them to react, give you space, and to prevent accidents. Something that only takes a second will increase your safety and prevent road rage.
Blasting the Tunes
Blasting your radio might seem enjoyable on your way to a party, or simply to spice up your morning commute, it is also one of the most dangerous driving habits.
This is because it is a form of distracted driving, much like glancing at your phone, but what is being distracted instead are your ears. You need to be able to use all of your senses, and your ears are important tools to notify you of incoming cars, people honking, or even nearby accidents. Just adjust the radio a little, so you can hear a bit of everything, and your favorite song.
This can also go for changing the song too often, which many people can relate to. Allow the radio to do the work, or make sure you have a playlist that you enjoy all of the songs on. Constantly glancing at your phone or iPod is not safe.
Speeding is, of course, one of the most dangerous habits that you need to let go of. As something that many people fall into, speeding will increase your chance of not only a crash, but a fatal one.
It will increase the impact as well as the potential for injury. No matter how late you are, or how much open road you have, you will increase your potential to crash, and get a ticket. It is a risk that is not worth the time that you would save, or the mini adrenaline rush.
Distracted driving can cover a large amount of the most dangerous driving habits. From doing your makeup, to glancing at your passenger too often, to eating and driving with your knees, or even biting your nails, these are all forms of distracted driving.
You would be surprised by the amount of things that people try to do, while completing a drive, especially long drive, or morning commutes. Your time in the car is not crunch time to complete your morning routine. So leave your toothbrush and toothpaste at home, and especially your mascara and bronzer, because being in the car is meant for one thing: driving.
Following too Close
No matter how terrible the traffic is, or how slowly the car in front of your is driving, following too close is the perfect way to rear end the car in front of you, within seconds.
Don't allow yourself to get close enough to the car in front of you that if you are distracted for a mere second, you could hit them. This is especially true for trucks and in poor weather conditions, but should be a habit that you should squash any day.
Not Considering the Weather
Most people take the speed limit, add 10, and even push those limits, every time they drive.
However, the speed limit is not a "minimum" limit, and during poor weather conditions, this should be taken into consideration. As one of the most dangerous driving habits, use your own judgment, compared to the speed limit, to gauge how fast or how slow you should being going, especially on icy roads.
Driving with Your Seat too Close to the Wheel
Believe it or not, you most likely sit way too close to the wheel. This is especially true for women. Even though you might have shorter legs, your chest should not be nearly hitting your steering wheel. And this is true for even the most cautious and safe drivers.
You can never guess what will happen during a trip in your car, unfortunately. So, god forbid, you get into an accident while sitting so close to the wheel, your airbag will likely go off. And what does this mean for you? Though airbags are meant for safety, if you are too close, this goes out the window. The airbag will do more harm to your face and body than good.
Last, but not least, on our list of the most dangerous driving habits, is road rage. Violent or aggressive behavior that is caused by driving and other drivers, road rage provides some of the most dangerous behaviors imaginable behind the wheel.
There were over 600 road rage incidents in the United States that involved guns. You truly never know who you are dealing with, and what you are dealing with. So consider this next time you plan to get out of your car to confront a driver.