We all like to think of ourselves as good drivers. Unfortunately, that’s not always true. You may have picked up some bad habits; in fact, you might not even be aware that you’re making these dangerous driving errors!
Speeding ‘Just a Little’
It’s so easy to get into the habit of going “just a little” over the speed limit. Everybody does it, right? If you’re in a 35 mph zone, that really means 40 or 43 mph. And if it’s a 50 mph speed limit? You can get away with 60 or more, right?
Not so fast (literally). The speed limit is the limit. Just because you think it’s okay to speed a little doesn’t mean it’s legal or smart.
Checking Your Phone
While you’d never text and drive, of course, you’ll admit to checking your phone every now and then. If you’re at a stoplight, it’s totally cool to see if you have text messages. Isn’t it?
Phones are the biggest source of distracted driving accidents in the country. We would strongly advise that you turn it off completely in the car. However, that’s not realistic. Instead, at least set your phone on silent (or airplane mode) while you drive. I promise those text messages will still be there when you safely arrive at your destination.
If you’re tired, no amount of caffeine will make it safe to drive. Drowsy driving is a common cause of accidents on the road. It’s not limited to falling asleep behind the wheel, either. If you’re tired, you may make poor decisions or become more easily distracted. Your reflexes and perception are also impaired.
Driving with Headphones
Depending on the state, this bad habit might actually be illegal! Driving with headphones on, whether it’s the big noise-cancelling over-the-ear style or simple AirPods, is not a good idea. You need to be able to hear emergency sirens, car horns, and other warning noises inside your vehicle.
Many driving habits–good or bad–are built on muscle memory. If you always use your blinker, then your hand will automatically reach for the switch whenever you need to shift lanes or turn. You won’t even have to think about it. Sure, it might be a little overcautious to hit the turn signal when leaving your driveway, but it’s better than the alternative.
Changing lanes without a signal isn’t just unsafe; it can also earn you a ticket.