Accidents happen every day, many of which are fatal. In fact, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), motor vehicle accidents cause over 32,000 deaths every year in the United States and hundreds of thousands of injuries. Driver error is one of the most common causes of these accidents, which means we can all do our part to make the roads safer by eliminating dangerous driving habits.
Here is a list of some of the most common bad driving habits that you should avoid:
- Driving under the influence: While we all know that driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is against the law, many drivers still underestimate the impact it can have on their ability to operate a vehicle. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drunk driving accounted for about 30% of traffic-related deaths in 2012. In 2013, almost 10 million drivers reported driving while under the influence of illicit drugs. You should never overestimate your ability to drive safely after having consumed drugs or alcohol. Instead, plan ahead and take a taxi, designate a sober driver, or use a ridesharing service.
- Distracted driving: Distracted driving is often associated with cell phone use, which is responsible for 1 in 4 crashes in the country. The use of a cell phone, whether hands-free or hand-held, posing a major threat because of the high level of attention it requires. However, it is not the only dangerous form of distracted driving. Anything that requires a driver to look away from the road or otherwise divert their attention by engaging in activities like eating and drinking, talking to a passenger, fiddling with the radio, or using a GPS navigation system, can all result in a serious accident.
- Speeding: Speeding has consistently been a dangerous problem on roads across the country, leading to terrible collisions that often result in death or life-altering injuries. Oftentimes, drivers who speed also engage in other risky behaviors, including road rage, distracted driving, or drunk driving, all of which dramatically increase the chances of an accident occurring.
- Not wearing a seat belt: Despite the strides that have been made in technology and the sophisticated safety features that are now present in many new motor vehicles, there is no substitute for the use of a seat belt. Unfortunately, many drivers continue to neglect to wear one. The CDC states that using a seat belt can actually decrease crash-related fatalities and injuries by half. Whether you are going on a quick trip to the grocery store around the corner or embarking on a long drive, wearing a seat belt can greatly improve your safety.
- Fatigued driving: You might not think driving while tired is too big of a deal, but according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), fatigued driving causes more than 83,000 crashes and over 1,000 fatalities every year. In fact, being sleep deprived can have effects that are similar to driving while under the influence of alcohol, impairing one’s reflexes and ability to make decisions. To combat the effects of fatigue, drink coffee, listen to music, or open a window. If you are too tired, however, pull over to a safe area and take a nap before you resume driving.
- Driving in poor weather: Inclement weather conditions can pose a danger, regardless of how careful or cautious a driver you might be. According to the Federal Highway Administration, approximately 23% of crashes are a result of bad weather, causing over 6,000 deaths every year. While it is best to avoid driving in bad weather, if you must go out, examine your vehicle to be sure it is in good condition to withstand whatever weather you might be facing.
Shreveport Car Accident Attorney
At the Law Office of Robert B. Dunlap, our experienced Shreveport personal injury attorney will help investigate your accident and determine facts to build your case. Our legal team is skilled at representing a broad range of car accident claims, including those involving distracted driving, hit and runs, multi-vehicle crashes, and more.
Contact us today at (318) 562-5044 to schedule a free consultation.