Avoid These 7 Bad Driving Habits

Mom driving distracted: texting and eating while driving

Most of us have been driving for so long, we sometimes take safety for granted. Here’s a friendly reminder of mistakes to avoid and bad habits you should break.

  1. Distracted Driving
    Drivers can be distracted by a lot of things, including shaving, applying makeup, texting and talking on a cell phone. Even when you talk hands-free, the National Safety Council (NSC) warns of “inattention blindness,” where your brain absorbs only half of what’s happening on the road.
  2. Drunk Driving
    Drugs and alcohol impair your judgment and your reaction time. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost 30 people die in the U.S. every day due to auto accidents involving an impaired driver. If you’ve had one too many, take a taxi and never let a friend or loved one drive drunk.
  3. Disregarding the Speed Limit
    The faster you drive, the less control you have of the vehicle, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Nearly 1/3 of all motor-vehicle fatalities occurred in speed-related crashes. Know the limit and stick to it.
  4. Ignoring the Weather
    Bad weather reduces visibility and can make your vehicle harder to maneuver safely. The Federal Highway Administration estimates that almost a quarter of all U.S. traffic accidents are weather-related. Check the forecast before you head out, and program a radio station with regular weather reports on your dial. In severe storms, stay off the road until conditions improve.
  5. Not Wearing Seat Belts
    Too many of us still haven’t gotten the message. According to the IIHS, the top reasons people give for not wearing safety belts are forgetfulness, discomfort and that they’re only driving a short distance. But there’s really no excuse: safety belts reduce the risk of injury in a car crash by 50%, says the NSC.
  6. Tailgating
    It’s not only rude and annoying but needlessly dangerous. Tailgating another vehicle reduces your visibility and puts you in immediate peril if the vehicle in front stops or slows suddenly. Think ahead and keep a safe distance.
  7. Improper Maintenance
    Chipped or dirty windshields, worn wiper blades, bald or under-inflated tires, broken lights: they’re all safety hazards or an accident waiting to happen. Give your car regular checkups to stay safe on the road.

Explore GEICO’s many safety resources, including our auto safety guides and Parent Teen Driving Contract.

By David Wright

Next article: 7 Ways to Avoid Road Rage

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  1. Nathalie Estrada says

    I don’t know if this has happened to anyone but a few yrs. Ago I was in a bad argument with my ex boyfriend and at the time we were driving. He was behind the wheel, it was pretty scary, as we bickard back n forth I can see that the more pissed off he got. Which led him to completely ignored the street lights, speed when turning a curb, and was totally blind of pedestrians etc. I thought we were going to die or get someone hurt or killed at that. Moment. Lucky enough that day everyone came out ok. Thank God. I got out of that relationship real quick, he wanted to control me in my life. Anyway.. Yeah I would say dont drive if ur to upset or angry. Any situation that makes ur adrenaline sky rocket …
    Thank u for everyone else’s shares….