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5 Dangerous Driving Habits You May Need to Break Right Now

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While we are all warned against and know the dangers of driving under the influence or getting behind the wheel without much sleep, there are a few other habits that can be just as dangerous. Whether it’s you or your child getting behind the wheel, it’s important to know some of the most dangerous driving habits.


1. Distracted Driving

While technology is great, unfortunately it is also the cause of tons of car accidents. Whether you are talking on your phone, playing with the radio,or, heaven forbid, texting, you are guilty of distracted driving. Even eating or drinking soda or coffee while driving can take your attention away from the road for one second – and one second is all it takes to get in or cause an accident.

For communication, many automotive companies have developed ways you can talk hands-free on your phone. Even if you do not have a newer car, you can still use a Bluetooth device. If you absolutely have to read and answer that text, pull off the road. If you are hungry, stop and eat where you bought the food. Set up your playlist before you take the car out of park. Do something other than driving while distracted.

2. Failing to Signal

Turn signals are an essential part of your vehicle, and failing to use them can result in disaster. If you’re in the dangerous habit of not using your turn signal, that potentially puts both you and other drivers in harm’s way. Other drivers are not mind readers and can’t always react in time to avoid collision. Start making it a habit to use your turn signals. It only takes 21 days to make a habit, and this is one habit you need to have for a lifetime. And if your signals are not working, find out why and fix the problem.

3. Tailgating

Tailgating, or following too closely, is a dangerous driving habit and one that is seen too often – especially on heavily trafficked highways and busy city streets. When you follow too close to the rear of another driver, not only is your visibility reduced, it is also more difficult to stop in time if the drivers ahead have to apply their brakes quickly.

4. Driving Too Fast for the Weather

When the weather gets bad, the right thing to do is to slow down in order to avoid an accident. Unfortunately, not everyone gets that. It all goes back to the laws of physics. The faster you go, the harder you will crash. And in inclement weather, a vehicle does not handle the same way it does on dry roads. Not only do you have to worry about skidding and hydroplaning, but your car also needs more time and space to come to a complete stop on slippery roads. So slow down and leave a little extra space between your car and the one in front when driving in the rain or snowy conditions.

5. Driving A Poorly Maintained Vehicle

We all know that regular maintenance is the best way to keep your car in top condition. But did you know that a lot of maintenance issues can also affect the safety of your car as well? For example, not replacing worn out tires can increase your chances of a blow out or a wreck. Poorly maintained brakes can lead to longer stopping distances and even brake failure. Low fluid levels such as your oil, transmission fluid and coolant can all keep your car from operating correctly. Why chance it? If it’s time for your vehicle’s routine maintenance, bring it into your local dealership or a certified mechanic.

Image courtesy Kyle May via Flickr

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