We’ve all been there. You’re driving down the highway and you see a car in front of you that’s swerving back and forth, breaking for no reason, and generally driving like a maniac. This usually happens when a driver is distracted, fatigued, or just plain reckless. This is not only frustrating and dangerous but also something we all need to avoid doing if we want to be safe on the road.
If you don’t avoid bad driving habits, you may end up in an accident, in which case, you could find yourself at a car dealership looking for a new vehicle soon. When shopping for a used vehicle at a dealership, make sure to read the buyer’s guide to learn about the warranties that are included with the vehicle and their durations. Auto dealerships can purchase dealership window stickers including buyers guides from MBR Marketing at https://mbrmarketing.com/dealer-supplies/sales-forms/ftc-buyers-guides-and-holders.
Now, let’s go over five bad habits that drivers should avoid at all costs!
1. The Obvious Mistakes
We’ll start with the obvious ones. These are the mistakes that we all know we should avoid, but sometimes we let our guard down and end up doing them anyway. One of the most common mistakes is texting and driving. This is something everyone knows you shouldn’t do, but because of temptations, it still happens.
It’s so important to put your phone away when you’re driving, even if you’re just stopped at a red light. It only takes a few seconds to set your phone down. You’ll undoubtedly be glad you did it. If you don’t, you’re putting yourself and others at very high risk, even though you can just use your phone once you stop the car.
Another obvious mistake is driving under the influence. This is just as bad of a habit (yes it is for some people) as texting and driving, as it can have the same dangerous consequences. If you’re not going to be sober, make sure you have a designated driver. It’s not worth the risk to get behind the wheel when you’re not in the right state of mind. Or, if you know you’re going to be intoxicated for the night, leave your car at home and call an Uber or Taxi.
As much as you want to believe you can drive home safely, it’s just not worth it, especially when other people are in the vehicle. It’s highly recommended that you don’t let your ego or overconfidence get in the way of making the smart decision.
2. Forgetting to Signal
This happens to all of us. We’re driving along and about to make a turn, but we forget to signal. It’s not a big deal if you do it once in a while, but if you make a habit out of it, it can be dangerous.
When you forget to signal, other drivers don’t know what you plan on doing. They might think you’re going straight when you’re actually turning, or vice versa. This can cause them to break suddenly or swerve out of the way, which can be dangerous for everyone involved.
It’s such a simple thing to do, but it can make a big difference. So, next time you’re about to make a turn, make sure you signal! You should also signal whenever you’re reversing your car. This will let the drivers around you know that you’re about to do something, so they can prepare accordingly. Again, it might seem like a small thing, but it’s important to do nonetheless.
3. Not Confirming Your Blind Spot
This is a mistake that all drivers make, no matter how long they’ve had their license. Whenever you want to change lanes, it’s important to check your blind spot. This is the area of the road that you can’t see in your rear-view or side mirrors.
It’s crucial to not just check your blind spot but confirm that nobody’s there. On the off chance, you might’ve checked your blind spot but failed to acknowledge or distinguish a vehicle in the lane. Believe it or not, it does happen. So, when checking your blind spot, confirm it by asking yourself, “Is it 100 percent safe to change lanes?” If you’re even 1% unsure, recheck and then confirm it again.
This extra step might seem like a hassle but it can be a lifesaver, especially for new or unconfident drivers.
4. Driving Without Confidence
The next bad habit on this list is driving without confidence. If you’re ever feeling unconfident behind the wheel, take a moment to calm yourself down. Remind yourself that you have a valid driver’s license and you earned it for a reason. It’s perfectly normal to feel unconfident sometimes, but you can’t let it affect your driving.
If you’re feeling very unconfident, it might be a good idea to take a break from driving. Maybe pull over to the side of the road for as long as you need. You could also call someone to help you calm down or drive your car for you. You can always try again when you’re feeling better. Consider putting in a few more hours practicing around your neighborhood. The most crucial thing is to not let your emotions get in the way. The last thing you need is your anxiety to kick in on the road.
To help you regain or feel more confident, just keep driving around a less crowded area when you get the chance. Practice switching lanes, parking, checking your mirrors, using your turn signals, reading street signs, and so on. Pretend you’re taking your driver’s test again, but this time you’re doing a self-report.
5. Driving Too Close to Other Cars
Driving close to other cars is a bad habit that’s not only dangerous but annoying! You need to respect other drivers’ personal space, as tailgating is against the law. You can get fined for it, but it’s also just common courtesy. Driving close behind someone could make them feel the need to rush, so avoid doing so.
Driving further away from others gives everyone more room to maneuver. If you’re driving close to someone and they need to brake suddenly, you might not have enough time to react. This could lead to a rear-end collision, which could be dangerous. During bad weather, such as icy roads, one collision could lead to a pile-up. So, stay at a safe distance from other cars, at least 16 car lengths from a regular-sized vehicle. Stay even further away from emergency vehicles, buses, and semi-trucks.