Bad human judgment accounts for about 90% of all car accidents. This fact is a sobering wake-up call to how many people drive with reckless abandon on the road. Are you one of them? Consciously or not, you could be practicing a few bad habits on the road that make you a dangerous driver to others.
What follows is a few bad driving habits that you may have been guilty of practicing in the past. Read on to find out why these “no-brainer” bad habits need to be nipped for good:
1. Driving under the Influence of Alcohol and Drugs
Drunk driving is a leading cause of car accident deaths on the road or highway. Multiple government campaigns on drunk driving exist detailing how alcohol can adversely affect your senses, especially your ability to react. If you’ve had a bit too much to drink, be conscientious and hail a cab, or even better, ask a sober friend or family member to come pick you up, so that you, and others, stay safe while on the road.
An April CBS News report reported that drugged drivers were killed more in car crashes than drunk drivers for the first time ever. Clearly, there is a lack of public awareness on how the misuse of prescribed drugs or use of illicit drugs can impair the brain and body while driving.
Of the most typically abused drugs, marijuana smoking or ingestion slows reaction time, and impairs coordination as well as distance and time judgments. Drivers who have taken methamphetamines or cocaine can be aggressive and reckless on the highway. Motorists who depend on benzodiazepines, a kind of sedative, can exhibit signs of drowsiness and/or dizziness. Good drivers understand that alertness on the road is directly related to not taking influential drugs so that they remain as clear-headed and focused as possible when in control of a vehicle.
2. Drowsy Driving
Drowsy driving has led to car collision deaths on the road. When worn out enough, your body will try and shut down your mind so that you sleep, even against your wishes. Drowsy drivers are significantly likely to have slow reaction times and to shut their eyes and fall asleep while on the road. This is regrettable since such reckless behavior can easily remedied by the drowsy driver pulling over and taking a restorative nap -- a small price to pay for staying safe on the road.
Many drivers get tempted to step on the gas when they are running late to an appointment. A terrible idea. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, driving at high speed increases the chances of a car wreck happening, since it takes longer for the vehicle to slow down or stop. The facts back this up – in 2015, the IIHS found, 27 percent of all on-the-road deaths were linked to excessive speeding. Respect the established speed limit if you want to boost your chances of living a long life.
The above three bad driving habits are well recognized and known by drivers everywhere. However, a reminder of the fatal effects of such “no-brainer” habits is a good thing, since drivers can and do sometimes overlap two or more of these behaviors. Feeling dizzy after downing sedatives with a cocktail? Speeding because you’re worn out and sleepy and can’t wait to get home? If you’re nodding yes, it’s worthwhile to stop and self-reflect a bit on the times you’ve behaved in such dangerous ways while sitting behind the wheel. It’s never too late to wisen up and start driving conscientiously.
Written by: Mark Conner