When driving, it can be hard to stay aware of every little thing that could lead to an accident. A lot is going on: other cars, pedestrians, bicyclists, and more. But if you’re not careful about what you’re doing behind the wheel, there’s no telling what could happen—and how much it will cost. You may think that the only risk you run when driving is your safety or that of others. But drivers who are careless with their driving habits also risk paying higher insurance rates.
And if you’re considered a “high risk” driver, you may even find it difficult to get coverage at all. In this article, we’ll look at seven careless driving habits that may lead to car accidents and then talk about how they can hurt your finances and life in general. Take a look.
This one is pretty obvious. Speed limits are set for a reason—to help keep people safe. But that doesn’t stop some drivers from going too fast, whether they’re trying to make good time or just don’t realize how fast they’re going. Unfortunately, speeding is one of the leading causes of car accidents. In fact, according to studies, speeding has been a significant factor in traffic fatalities over the past few years. And it’s not just fatal accidents that are a problem. Speeding is also a major factor in many non-fatal accidents like rear-end collisions and rollovers.
We live in an increasingly connected world, which means we’re constantly bombarded with notifications and distractions. It can be hard to resist the urge to check our phones when we hear that telltale ding. But when you’re driving, looking at your phone is one of the most dangerous things you can do.
The car accident lawyers at Jacoby & Meyers Law Firm tell us “according to the CDC, over 3,000 individuals died and another 391,000 were injured in one recent year as a result of distracted driving. Some common types of distracted driving are texting, using a GPS device, and talking to passengers.”
Driving Under the Influence
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is never a good idea. Not only is it illegal, but it’s also incredibly dangerous. Drunk driving accidents claim thousands of lives yearly, and drug-related accidents are also rising. If you drink, have a designated driver or take a taxi or Uber. And if you’re taking medication that could make you tired, don’t get behind the wheel.
Driving While Tired
Driving while tired is just as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol. In fact, drowsy driving is one of the leading causes of car accidents. When you’re tired, your reaction time slows, and your judgment is impaired. If you’re sleepy, pull over, take a nap, or switch drivers.
Not Wearing a Seatbelt
Not wearing a seatbelt is not only illegal in most states, but it’s also one of the stupidest things you can do when driving. Seatbelts save lives, plain and simple. In fact, studies have shown that seatbelts can greatly reduce the risk of serious injury or death in a car accident. So, buckle up every time you get in the car, no matter how short the drive.
We’ve all been there—sitting in traffic, someone cuts us off, and we feel our blood pressure start to rise. But losing your temper behind the wheel is never a good idea. Road rage can lead to aggressive driving, which increases your risk of getting into an accident. If someone cuts you off or does something else to anger you, take a deep breath and let it go. It’s not worth risking your life over.
Not Paying Attention to the Road
It’s easy to get lost in our thoughts while driving, but paying attention to the road is important. Distracted driving is a major problem, but even if you’re not distracted by your phone or other devices, daydreaming can be just as dangerous. Pull over and take a break if you find yourself zoning out behind the wheel. It’s better to arrive late than not at all.
These are just a few careless driving habits that can lead to car accidents. So, next time you’re behind the wheel, ensure you’re staying safe by avoiding these dangerous behaviors. And if you see someone else driving unsafely, don’t hesitate to report them to the authorities. Good luck!