If somebody asked you if you were a good driver, what would you say? How highly would you rate yourself on a scale of 1-10? Studies show that the majority of people consider themselves good drivers, but it’s no coincidence that over 90 percent of accidents on US roads are caused by driver errors. If you think you’re as good as it gets, maybe it’s time to consider if you’re actually one of those drivers everyone dreads.
We’ve all been on the road when we’ve seen a car flying up the inside lane, driving far too fast and weaving in and out of traffic. Usually, this involves a flash sports car, but this is not always the case. If you drive too fast, you’re putting yourself and other people in danger, and you also run the risk of facing charges. Driving at high speed may be more fun, but it’s also more hazardous. If you hit somebody and you’re going too fast, there’s a much higher risk of serious and even fatal injuries. Always pay attention to the speed restrictions. Speeding plays a role in 27 percent of fatal crashes in America. Nobody wants to have to live with the consequences of an accident caused by showing off behind the wheel or deal with claims brought against them by an accident lawyer. Speeding is not the only characteristic of a flashy driver. You may also notice people trying to steer with their knees or attempting maneuvers, which aren’t suitable on residential roads. Pay attention to the rules of the road, and be sensible. It may seem boring, but it’s better than ending up with a fine or having to deal with the fact that you’ve injured somebody because you’ve been reckless.
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The distracted driver
Have you ever been in the situation where you’re dawdling along behind a car in front, and the driver appears to have no idea what they’re doing to find that they are using their phone or chatting away to the passenger? Distracted driving is one of the most common causes of car accidents. When you’re not focused on the road, you may not be able to react quickly enough, and your behavior can also irritate and annoy other drivers. When you’re behind the wheel, try not to make phone calls and don’t take your eyes off the road. If you have to make a call, use an in-car system or a Bluetooth headset to enable you to keep both hands on the wheel or pull over in a safe place. When you’re driving, the environment can change in an instant, and it’s so important to be aware of hazards and to be able to adapt quickly.
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The angry driver
Road rage can be a real problem. If you’ve got somebody tailgating you or you’ve got an aggressive driver following you, it can make you feel uneasy and anxious, and there may also be a higher risk of accidents. If you tend to get frustrated when you’re sitting in traffic, you find yourself getting too close to other cars, or you overreact when other drivers make minor mistakes, try and stay calm. Give yourself plenty of time to get where you want to go so that you’re not rushing and remember that getting worked up is probably going to make the situation worse.
The drunk driver
According to the CDC, 28 people in the US die every day as a result of a car accident involving at least one driver who has been drinking. Alcohol affects your ability to control a car, make sound judgements and react to the environment. Even if you can talk without slurring and you can walk in a straight line, this doesn’t mean that you’re fit to take charge of the wheel. If you’ve been drinking, don’t drive. Arrange a lift or take a cab. If you get into the car and start the engine, you’re putting your own life at risk, as well as endangering the lives of other road users and pedestrians. If you are driving under the influence, and there’s an accident, you’ll face police charges, and you’ll be considered liable for any injuries anyone else involved in the crash sustains. If you’re driving and you come across somebody you think may be drunk, for example, you see a car straying into different lanes or braking erratically, don’t hesitate to contact the police.
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The careless driver
Most of us think that we’re pretty handy behind the wheel and we tend to be more critical of others. If you can solemnly swear that you drive according to the rules of the roads then you have a right to rate your skills highly. However, many of us have a rose-tinted vision of our driving abilities and the way other people perceive us may be very different. Do you always put the blinker on with enough notice or are you one of those people who waits until the last minute or doesn’t bother at all? Do you let other people out or do you block junctions or roundabouts because you’re impatient? Do you always check your mirrors and your blind spot before moving off or slowing down? Do you make sure you’re always in the right lane or do you try and weasel your way into another lane at the last minute? These may seem like minor irritations, but they can actually be very dangerous, as well as annoying for other drivers. When you learn to drive, you pick up all these skills, but it’s common to develop bad habits as you become more confident. Next time you’re out and about, don’t forget the basics.
Do you think you’re a great driver? If so, you’re not alone. The trouble is that we tend to rate our driving ability more favorably than others do. You may complain about other drivers all the time, but have you ever stopped to think how the way you drive impacts others? You may just be one of those people that other drivers dread encountering on the roads.