Every year, thousands of drivers die in accidents on the road. The main cause? Bad driving habits. Driving is a dangerous business, but many people don’t take it very seriously. Distracted driving, poor driving skills, and simple carelessness account for many of the bad driving habits, and the consequent deaths that result because of those bad habits. Here are the top seven worse driving habits provided by the Houston car accident lawyers of Sutliff & Stout:
Careless Driving in Inclement Weather
Rain, snow, sleet, and wind can be major issues on the road. A windy day can transform a regular commute into something short of a nightmare — wind of even a moderate speed can push a two ton car with little effort, forcing a driver right out of his/her lane, and into another driver. Rain is worse; even a light rain can obscure visibility and make roads slick enough to cause cars to slip and skid. Snow and sleet are perhaps the most dangerous of inclement weather. Roads covered with even a thin coating of snow can create poor road traction, and ice — including the treacherous nighttime black ice — makes it nearly impossible to drive without sliding, and increases the chances of an accident. However, many drivers don’t take caution in inclement weather; rather than slowing down and driving carefully, drivers still speed and drive without any heed to the weather, causing many accidents.
Eating While Driving
During the early morning commute, it is easy enough to see that many drivers stop for breakfast or a hot beverage before driving off to work. Eating while driving forces a driver to often drive one-handed, or worse, the driver might use both hands to eat or drink, leaving the steering wheel momentarily free.
Driving and Applying Makeup
This dangerous driving habit is committed more so by women, but is no less dangerous. Applying makeup takes a driver’s eyes off of the road for seconds or even minutes at a time. Even a quick swipe of lipstick takes a driver’s gaze from the road for at least two precious seconds, not to mention things like eye-liner, mascara, and foundation. With a driver’s eyes focused on applying a smoky eye to her eyelids, or a sheen of lip gloss, the driver can no longer focus on the conditions of the road, including the hazards of a stalled car or a pedestrian in a crosswalk.
Speeding causes a vast majority of accidents, and the unfortunate truth is, many drivers love to speed. The faster you drive, the greater the chance of increased injury, or even death. Higher speeds also cause a reduced reaction time, slowing a driver’s reflexes.
Cell Phone Calls
Cells phones have caused countless driver deaths. Cell phones prevent drivers from hearing things like the sirens of an emergency vehicle, and also effectively take a driver’s attention off the road while they listen to the other party on their cell phone. Even worse, holding a cell phone leaving only one hand on the steering wheel, making driving a difficult proposition. While the implementation of hands-free cell phone equipment (like Bluetooth)have helped, it is the conversation itself that distracts the driver and creates dangerous conditions.
Text Messaging While Driving
Text messaging while driving is even worse than talking on the cell phone. Text messaging often requires two hands, and thus many drivers, while trying to text, will either attempt to steer with their wrists, or will free their hands from the steering wheel all together. Text messaging also forces a driver to take their gaze from the road for seconds on end. While a driver texts single a message to a friend, he/she risks causing an accident that might well end in injury, or even death. Text messaging while driving just isn’t worth it.
Driving Under the Influence
Drinking while driving has been the subject of commercials, books, and movies for years. Studies have shown that even a single glass of wine can interfere with a driver’s reaction time. Driving while drunk also impairs a driver’s ability to judge distances, and can make a driver even more aggressive. Statistics show that approximately 28 people die each day in America from drunk driving crashes.