Even the most skilled, experienced drivers can cause accidents on the road. But a driver with bad habits? That can turn deadly in seconds. Avoid these dangerous driving mistakes by keeping focus and patience top of mind every time you’re behind the wheel:

  1. Speeding.

    For over two decades, driving too fast has contributed to approximately one-third of all fatal crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In Arizona, 300 people were killed in speed-related accidents in 2015. Even if you’re running late, it’s not worth risking a ticket, let alone your life.

     

  2. Allowing distractions.

    In 2015, distracted drivers in Kansas contributed to nearly $630 million in accident costs. Distractions include using a navigation device or app, having intense conversations, grooming, watching a video or adjusting the radio. Distractions are a particularly common issue among teen drivers, who are often tempted by social media, games and music apps. Click here for more tips to avoid driving distractions.

     

  3. Texting while driving.

    Did you know that at 55 mph, the average text takes your eyes off the road long enough to cover the length of a football field? Texting takes your attention — and your eyes — off the road for a dangerous amount of time. In most cases, the text can wait — plus, most states have banned texting while driving. If you must read or respond to a text, pull over.

     

  4. Ignoring weather conditions.

    In a place like Minnesota, where weather conditions can change quickly, adapting behind the wheel and slowing down is crucial. Poor driving conditions can lead to accidents big and small so it’s important to adjust your driving skills accordingly.

     

  5. Driving while intoxicated.

    People ages 15 to 24 have the highest traffic-related death rate in New Mexico — and drunk driving is a leading cause of these accidents — with alcohol involved in one-third of the state’s fatal crashes. If you’ve been drinking, your best bet is to hitch a ride from someone sober.

     

  6. Failing to check your blind spot.

    Weaving in and out of lanes without checking your blind spot could result in a serious crash. Check your rear-view mirrors and over your shoulder every time you switch lanes.

     

  7. Not wearing a seat belt.

    Wearing a seat belt is one of the smartest and most important things you can do behind the wheel as it can save your life. If you need motivation, most states have laws or fines associated with seat belt use. In Nebraska, for example, it’ll cost you $25 if you’re caught not wearing it. But if you’re in a serious crash without a seat belt, it can cost you your life.

     

  8. Fatigue.

    Extreme tiredness is another contributing factor to most crash-related injuries in New Mexico. Drowsy driving can be just as fatal as drunk driving — your awareness, reaction time and judgment are compromised when you’re in need of sleep.

     

  9. Following too closely.

    You can usually control how close you get to the car in front of you. But drivers often follow too close. Following other drivers too closely can result in an accident. Strive to follow greater than two car lengths’ distance from the vehicle in front of you.

     

  10. Disobeying signs and signals.

    Ever sped through a red light or rolled through a stop sign? Such behavior contributed to more than 2,000 crashes in Kansas alone in 2015. These bad habits are not only dangerous — they’re against the law.

 

When you enroll in Driveology, you’ll be practicing the science of safe driving, using technology that helps you better understand your daily driving habits. Over time, safe driving could help you qualify for discounts on your auto premium. Win-win!

 

SOURCES: Arizona Department of Transportation, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Transportation, DMV.org, Kansas Department of Transportation, New Mexico Department of Health, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration