When we take our initial driving lessons, we are told the very basics of car safety so that we can develop into responsible and careful drivers. But over time, many drivers start to get into bad habits when they are behind the wheel, which can put themselves and other road users in serious danger. One reason for this is that it is all too easy to get too confident behind the wheel and think that we are immune from accidents and that they will never happen to us. But this lapse in judgment is exactly what puts us most at risk.
So, do you think you need to watch your behavior while driving to ensure you are as safe as possible behind the wheel? Here are some of the most dangerous things that you can do as a driver – make sure you are never guilty of committing any of them.
Drink And Drug Driving
After having an alcoholic drink or taking some drugs, our reactions are slowed down quite a bit, which means that we are very slow to react to any potential risks and hazards on the road. The effect of the drink and drugs also means that driving can become very erratic, which can lead to crashes and accidents. But drink and drug driving aren’t just highly unsafe, though – it is also illegal. If you are caught behind the wheel of a vehicle with alcohol or illegal substances in your system, you could be arrested and will face either a large fine or extensive jail time.
Not Giving Way When Needed
Did you know that one of the main causes of personal injury and car accident cases is that the driver that caused the crash didn’t yield to give way when they should have? It’s true! Even though there are very strict rules about who should give way at a road end or crossing, there are still many drivers who fail to take this into consideration when they are driving. In fact, this is the main cause of accidents with elderly drivers. So, whenever you are coming up to a junction of any kind, you should always consider who has right of way. If you are never sure, always come to a complete stop so that you can be sure you pull out only when it is safe to do so.
There are lots of speed restrictions on the roads for a reason. In built-up areas and neighborhoods near schools, you will need to drive at very low speeds so that you aren’t putting any residents, especially children, at risk by driving too quickly. Even though you can drive quicker out on the highways and freeways, you still need to follow the speed restrictions so that you aren’t putting yourself at risk. By driving too fast, you are making it a lot more likely that you will lose control of your vehicle and cause a crash. So, it’s always necessary to stay in control by sticking to the speed limit. Plus, this will prevent you from being pulled over by the police and giving you a speeding ticket!
Failing To Wear A Seatbelt
There are lots of safety and security features in cars that have been added with the sole purpose of keeping the driver and passenger safe. For instance, airbags keep the driver and front-seat passenger safe during an impact as they prevent them from smashing into the dashboard. Another great safety feature has to be the seatbelt. This keeps you in the seat during a crash, which prevents you from flying around in the car and causing too much damage to yourself. However, even though the seatbelt is one of the car’s best safety features, you might be surprised to hear that hardly any drivers wear them all the time. You always need to wear your belt so that you are safe in the car – as a matter of fact, it is against the law not to wear one.
Playing Loud Music
Most people enjoy listening to music or the radio while they are driving, especially if they are embarking on a very long journey. However, if you play your radio or playlist at a very high volume, it could become quite distracting. You might not be able to hear the sound of the traffic around you, which could make it difficult to judge the situation. Not only that, though, but you might not hear some potential hazards, such as the sirens of an ambulance or police car. So, try and keep your volume down to reasonable levels so that you can always hear what is going on around you.
Using The Phone
One of the biggest distractions for you behind the wheel is your mobile phone. You should never use it when you are driving. If you get a call or need to message someone urgently, always pull over and do so while you are stationary. However, you will be able to take a call if you have a bluetooth system that lets you use your phone hands-free while driving. But, more often than not, it’s best to simply not use your phone at all.
Driving While Tired
Fatigue is another big risk for drivers and driving while excessively tired is always a big no-no. If you don’t have to drive, then it’s best not to and to just get some rest instead. But if you do need to travel somewhere, you should make sure you give yourself plenty of breaks in the journey so that you can try and rest and recuperate whenever possible. Drinking coffee and driving with the window open for some fresh air should help to wake you up while behind the wheel. But, as I’ve previously mentioned, it is always best to try not to drive while you are tired if you can help it at all.
As you can see, there are quite a few different things that you can do that are dangerous when you are behind the wheel! Watch out!