Everyone makes mistakes. While there might be no use crying over spilled milk, the millions of accidents that occur annually in the United States are certainly worth reflecting upon. After all, mistakes are nothing but learning opportunities. Whether you’ve been involved in an accident or not, every motorist can benefit from learning about common driving errors, so they can avoid such behaviors themselves. Even the best drivers will likely recognize a familiar bad habit or two on our list.
In a world where folks are more reliant on technology than ever before, it’s no surprise that distracted driving is one of the leading causes of collisions. While texting and driving grabs the majority of headlines on the topic, activities like eating, talking to passengers and adjusting the radio can be just as distracting. The worst part? Most people will admit to driving distractedly at one point or another. Though it can be just as dangerous as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, there’s not much shame associated with distracted driving.
Avoid distractions by keeping your cell phone out of sight and out of mind. Switch your phone off to avoid temptation and consider keeping it in your purse or a back-seat pocket where you can’t reach it. Should you need to make a call or send a text, you’ll have to pull over to do so – and that’s something we should all be doing, anyway.
We’ve all been there: behind the wheel on a late-night road trip, your eyes heavy and your seat comfortable – it can easily lull a person to sleep. Like driving while distracted, most people will admit to driving while drowsy at some point. Combined with limited night visibility, driving while sleepy is incredibly dangerous. Reaction times slow when you’re drowsy, so even if you’re awake at the wheel, you up the odds of getting into a collision simply because you can’t react as quickly as you normally can.
If you ever feel yourself getting tired at the wheel, do yourself a favor and pull over for a rest. Better yet, travel with a co-pilot who can take over when you need a break. Whatever you do, don’t rely on coffee or loud music to keep you awake. Those tactics might wake you up momentarily, but there is no quick fix for fatigue.
When you’re running late, the temptation to speed can be immense. Even though it’s common knowledge that speeding is dangerous, it remains one of the leading causes of accidents the world over. Not only does speeding make crashes more likely to occur, the resulting collisions are far deadlier the faster the car is traveling. The laws of physics work against speeding motorists, and when an accident happens, the results are often catastrophic.
It goes without saying that you shouldn’t speed, but if you’re going to do so, avoid combining high speeds with the other behaviors on this list. Speeding is risky enough on its own, but combined with distractions or drowsiness, it’s downright deadly.
Following Too Closely
No matter how slowly the person in front of you might be driving, there’s never a good excuse to tailgate. Following too closely often leads to rear-end accidents, and it’s no surprise why. When you fail to leave enough distance between your vehicle and the one ahead of you, there’s little margin for error. Save yourself the headache of being involved in an accident and increase your following distance.
One easy way to check and see if you’re far enough back from the traffic ahead is to perform the three-second test. Pick a landmark in the distance, like a road sign or tree, and begin counting when the car ahead of you passes. Stop counting when you pass the landmark. If it took less than three seconds for you to reach that point, you’re likely following too closely.
Construction Site Confusion
Construction zones are filled with heavy machinery, busy workers and roads in all states of repair. Unfortunately, the signs warning motorists of work zones aren’t always the clearest. Some drivers get confused and find themselves plowing through an active construction site. The next time you happen along a construction zone, tread carefully and slow down. Taking care while traveling through these areas can ensure you avoid even the smallest of accidents.
When you spot an animal crossing sign on the road, it’s easy to shrug off and forget it the moment you pass by. Unfortunately, doing so could be incredibly hazardous. When deer and other animals appear in the roadway unexpectedly, there’s little a driver can do to avoid a collision. To ensure you’re not on the fast track to hitting an animal, always be sure to use your high beams on rural roads at night and take extra precautions when you see warnings of animal crossings.
The next time you get behind the wheel, consider these common driving errors and be sure to adjust your habits to avoid a collision. By staying proactive and vigilant, you can drive with the confidence that you’ll arrive at your destination safely. Should you find yourself in an accident, though, look no further than Lawsuit Info Center for help connecting with a local car accident attorney.