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10 Dangerous Driving Habits

8/10/2012
By avoiding these 10 dangerous driving habits, we can significantly decrease the number of preventable vehicle-related accidents each year:

1.    Driving While Drunk. If you drink alcohol, don't drive. It is that simple. A single alcoholic beverage impairs your ability to operate a motor vehicle, even if your blood alcohol content (BAC) is within legal limits.

2.    Driving While Medicated. Many over-the-counter and prescription medications caution against driving while or after taking them. Some medications impair your driving abilities in a similar fashion to that of alcohol.

3.    Driving While Tired. If you are drowsy, do not drive. If drowsiness sets in during a trip, take a break to rest.

4.    Driving While Distracted. Modern life and technology presents numerous distractions while driving--so many that we've covered the subject of distracted driving in a separate article.

5.    Running Red Lights. If your light is red, the light for cross traffic is green. If you run a red light, you dramatically increase your risk of getting into an accident.

6.    Speeding. The faster you go, the longer it takes to slow or stop your vehicle, increasing your risk of colliding with other motorists or objects. This is particularly true if it is dark, foggy, smoky, raining, or snowing.

7.    Tailgating. Following other motorists too closely restricts your visibility and reduces your ability to stop in time in the event that traffic ahead suddenly slows or stops. Either way, you increase your chances of getting into an accident.

8.    Not Wearing Your Seat Belt. The laws of physics dictate that if your car comes to a sudden stop, objects inside of it will continue moving forward until they encounter an obstacle, such as a steering wheel, dashboard, or windshield. Your seat belt is designed to stop your body at the same time as your car in the event of an accident, to protect your body from the impact.

9.    Failing to Signal or Yield. Your turn signals are designed to indicate to other motorists your intentions with regard to changing lanes or turning. Use them, so that other people know what your next move is going to be.

10.   Failing to Maintain Your Vehicle. Dirty windows and worn wiper blades can reduce your visibility; bald tires negatively impact handling, and if they blow out, often lead to a loss of control; and inoperable lighting makes it difficult for you to see, and for other motorists to see you when you are slowing down, backing up, or changing lanes.