How safe a driver would you say you are? Are you positive? After all, everyone knows that they shouldn’t drink and drive or text while they’re behind the wheel. Those are far from the only potentially dangerous driving habits someone can have though. The following are just a few of the most common that most people aren’t even aware are problematic. Are you or any of your friends guilty?
Your car may be filled with mirrors, but that doesn’t make it an on-the-go substitute for your bathroom or bedroom vanity. Reapplying your lipstick at the stop light or giving your hair a quick check-and-fluff in the rearview mirror as you drive down the highway may seem harmless, but it’s important to resist the urge. It only takes a second for a serious situation to develop, and you don’t want to be too busy finishing up your morning grooming routine to react in time.
2. Taking Phone Calls
You may think you’re honoring your commitment to driving responsibly by only operating your phone via hands-free technology when you’re driving, but you couldn’t be more wrong. Answering and making hands-free phone calls while you’re behind the wheel still poses enough of a distraction to be dangerous, so it’s best to err on the side of caution and forgo the use of your phone at all. Get into the habit of powering it down or keeping it completely out of sight while you’re driving instead. Otherwise, you could be tempted to cave and take a short call “just this once” or to keep glancing over to see if any notification lights are blinking.
Eating, drinking, and snacking while driving isn’t just a bad idea. It’s actually responsible for 80 percent of all car accidents, according to one recent study. Drinks spill. Tacos inconveniently lose their fillings at the worst possible times. Doughnut crumbs get everywhere no matter how careful you are. Food-related mishaps like those may only distract you for a second, but a second is all it takes to wind up in a collision. Play it safe and finish your food before you hit the road, or wait to enjoy it until you reach your destination.
4. In-Vehicle Conversation
Don’t make the mistake of thinking a conversation needs to be taking place over a cell phone connection to be a distraction. Any conversation at all can prove incredibly distracting, especially when there’s traffic or an adverse weather condition that requires extra vigilance on the part of the driver. The more other people there are in the car participating in the interaction, the more likely a possible accident becomes. Stay safe by keeping all conversation to an absolute minimum while the car is in motion.
Keeping the roads safe and as mishap free as possible is everyone’s responsibility. Do your part to preserve your safety, as well as the safety of others on the road, by giving driving your full, undivided attention any time you’re behind the wheel. You could be saving a life, your own included.