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What Are the Nine Most Dangerous Driving Habits?

When driving on the open road, safety should be everyone’s number one concern. Unfortunately, safe driving requires sacrifice, while unsafe maneuvers can bring immediate gratification. When people get away with an unsafe maneuver a few times, it can easily become an unsafe habit. Just what unsafe habits are most likely to cause severe accidents? Recently, Car and Driver posted a list of the nine most dangerous things drivers do. Counting them down, they are:

  • Failure to yield the right of way — According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, this is the number one cause of accidents for drivers over 70, but it’s a dangerous habit for drivers of all ages. Obeying right-of-way etiquette creates a predictable flow of traffic. Unfortunately, too many drivers seem to think yielding the right of way doesn’t have to apply to them.
  • Failing to wear a seat belt — While this bad driving habit won’t cause an accident, it could turn the consequences of a crash from mild to catastrophic.
  • Reckless driving — This is a broad category, but essentially it means driving without regard for safety. Driving more than 20 miles over the posted speed limit and weaving in and out of traffic are acts of recklessness. In most jurisdictions, it is more than a traffic offense: it’s a misdemeanor crime.
  • Drafting/hypermiling tractor-trailers — Following closely behind a big-rig can improve your gas mileage, but you also improve your chances of a brutal rear-end collision if the trucker has to brake suddenly.
  • Driving too fast for weather conditions — If rain and snow are causing you to lose visibility and traction, the absolutely wrong move is to speed up so you can get home faster.
  • Distracted driving — Taking your eyes and your mind off the road to glance at your cellphone is a great way to cause a crash. Car and Driver’s own study has shown this habit is just as dangerous as driving drunk.
  • Speeding — The second leading cause of auto fatalities, speeding increases crash severity by increasing the force with which you hit an object. Speeding also reduces the time you have to react to an obstacle.
  • Driving tired — Driving while fatigued is another bad habit that can be just as dangerous as driving drunk.
  • Driving under the influence — Even though everyone knows that drunk driving is dangerous, tens of thousands of Americans annually get behind the wheel of a car after having consumed enough alcohol to be legally drunk. And now, with numerous states relaxing laws around marijuana usage, there are bound to be more and more motorists taking their chances at driving high.

As a law firm representing clients injured in auto accidents throughout Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina, Marcari, Russotto, Spencer & Balaban urges you to adopt safe driving habits. If you are injured in an auto accident, you can trust our personal injury attorneys, who have more than 200 years of combined legal experience. Call us at (888) 351-1038 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.

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