Recent statistics show that there are over 220 million licensed drivers in the United States alone, and sadly, not all of them are great drivers. In fact, if you spend a lot of time out on the roads, you might start to feel like the bad drivers sometimes outnumber the good ones.
From tailgating to speeding, hard braking, not using turning signals, and bad parking too, there are many bad habits that negligent drivers tend to have. Some of them might not seem so serious at first glance, but many can lead to dramatic consequences in which other people might get injured.
And if your negligence causes some kind of accident or injury, you could end up being charged in a personal injury case. Nobody should want that, and nobody should want to run the risk of hurting themselves or others on the roads either, so here are some simple ways you can ensure that you don’t fall into any bad habits or negligent behaviors while driving.
One of the simplest ways you can keep your driving levels high is by respecting the roads around you and paying close attention to signs you see along the way. They’re not just there for decoration; signs can tell you a lot about speed limits, upcoming hazards, or special road rules depending on where you happen to be driving at the time.
Over the years, we tend to simply look at signs without really seeing them or thinking about what kind of information they’re conveying. Ignoring a sign could lead to terrible consequences in some cases if you aren’t prepared for an upcoming hazard or aren’t aware that the speed limit has lowered.
This one is obvious, but with shocking statistics regarding distracted driving each and every year, it’s worth repeating that you absolutely need to keep your eyes on the road at all times while driving. It’s easy to let yourself get distracted by your phone or your car’s music system, but the slightest lapse in concentration could prove to be disastrous.
You can look down or to the side every now and then to check your speed, fuel gauge, or GPS, but your eyes need to be out on the road as much as possible, keeping your concentration levels high and ensuring that you’re fully aware of other road users and potential hazards around you.
These days, there are plenty of apps you can download for free onto your phone to actually help with safe driving. Some of them are map or GPS apps that can give you directions clearly and distinctly, without the need to keep looking at the screen or pressing any buttons.
Other apps are actually able to track your driving performance and let you know about any areas of improvement. They might help you learn, for example, that you tend to brake a little too harshly or have a habit of being heavy on the accelerator.
In 2019, more than 80% of American drivers admitted to driving aggressively or experiencing road rage at least once a year, and with so many bad drivers out there, complete with rising stress levels due to work and other responsibilities, it’s only natural that people can get a little grouchy behind the wheel.
However, two wrongs never make a right, and if you start driving recklessly just because someone else is tailgating you or because you had a bad day, you’ll only be increasing your risks of having or causing an accident. Try to keep calm, drive sensibly, and remind yourself of how much safer it is for yourself and your passengers to stay cool and collected, rather than losing your temper.
Over time, we may start to forget some of the road rules we had to learn when passing our tests as teens, and there’s no harm in giving yourself a little reminder every now and then to stay up to date with road rules in your state and ensure that you’re following the law.
The internet is filled with resources that can help you check up on driving laws in your area, as well as figuring out what some of the more confusing road signs mean and monitoring any speed limits changes on highways and freeways near you too.
There are plenty of bad drivers out there, and they’re never fun to deal with, but there’s no need for you to become one of them too. Driving sensibly is the best possible way to keep yourself, your passengers, and other road users safe, setting an example for others to follow and hopefully leading to a future with far fewer negligent drivers.