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January 30th, 2014
Top 10 Worst Driving Habits

With auto insurance rates climbing as high as they have, we should all be looking for ways collectively to reduce our proneness to on-the-road accidents.  Given how many drivers do exhibit bad driving behaviour, including speeding, it warrants talking more about them.

There’s no shortage of bad habits to discuss when it comes to driving, but for this post, we’ll try to limit it to ten.

What creates a bad accident? Police don’t always know what mindset and events preceded a bad accident.  The “cause” of the accident is listed as the last thing that happened before the collision. But we know that other issues played a hand in setting up that final mistake.

From sleepy, to intoxicated to distracted or enraged, the end result is often the same.

Aside from the fact that bad driving habits lead to serious injuries, high repair bills, and higher car insurance premiums, we’re setting a poor example for younger drivers. Although they seem rebellious, and apt to ignore our advice, they do so because there’s little consistency between our actions and our words. Anyone who drives knows that a number of drivers do not take road safety very seriously.

What about Driving Through Red Lights?

So, from speeding to reckless lane changes and car passing, what we do, the younger generation sees. They take our lead.

A lot of this behaviour may come down to lifestyles. The tired, speeding driver making unsafe lane changes isn’t leaving themselves enough time to get to their destination.  Better planning and a more relaxed attitude might well eradicate these annoying and dangerous behaviours.

 

The 10 Worst of the Worst

Here they are, the top worst driving habits, brought to you by Cornell Insurance, your first source for better auto insurance rates as well as home and life insurance rates.

10. Risky left hand turns.  This is particularly dangerous with senior drivers, however some drivers will bolt out when vehicles are oncoming. Often they can’t see well enough ahead past the car in the opposite lane making a left hand turn too. With oncoming vehicles not slowing down through intersections, some very serious accidents can happen.

9. Stopping suddenly. Some drivers slam on the brakes in certain situations such as when a squirrel crosses the road or at a speed bump. Anyone following too closely may run right into the back of their vehicle.

8. Weaving in and out of lanes. Drivers who drive erratically on highways either collide with other vehicles or make those drivers uncertain or less confident about driving. Statistics seem to show that consistency is an important factor in safe driving.

7. Too fast in bad conditions. Winter driving drives up rates because drivers are going too fast for the slippery conditions. However, foggy conditions and heavy rain require that drivers slow down considerably to keep it safe.

6. Driving through an amber light. We say amber, but in reality people are driving through red lights too. More municipalities are setting up red light cameras to catch drivers who are trying to beat the light.  Drivers who speed and take dangerous chances are risking other people’s lives. This goes far beyond the cost of repairing a vehicle and cleaning up an accident scene.

5. Tired, sleepy.  A serious problem that may actually be more serious than drunk driving overall. Too many drivers rushing to work and back home from work are sleep deprived.  No one is sure how many accidents are actually the result of inattentiveness and sluggish reflexes. Drivers who drive tired need to adjust their lifestyles so they are fresh when they get behind the wheel.

4. Texting. Texting and driving is still very common and some are calling for stricter laws. The fact that drivers have to use one hand and type one finger at a time, means they are not watching the road. This is a practice that has pedestrians, cyclists, and other drivers feeling nervous.

3. Tailgating. Not leaving enough distance from the car ahead makes the drivers of both cars nervous. Response time for breaking is virtually zero, meaning if the first slows, the other can’t possibly stop safely.

2. Speeding. The most prevalent bad driving habit is speeding. It is epidemic because police are lenient about car speeds. For most drivers, it’s not a big problem to exceed the speed limit by 20km, however factor in aggression, inattention, and congested traffic and you have a formula for the worst, most costly driving accidents.

1. Driving after consuming alcohol. Notice we didn’t say drunk driving? When any level of alcohol is combined with tiredness, speeding, and risky driving behaviours, you have the potential for disastrous accidents.

The more frequently any driver engages in the above driving behaviours, the more likely they are to find themselves in an accident. Insurance companies may realize that if a driver has one bad driving behaviour (speeding), they may indeed have many more unsavoury habits.

The fact there are careless drivers on the road is the reason for better car safety features.  Winter is the toughtest season drive in. Do you use winter tires? It’s one way you can reduce your insurance rates. Learn more about the criteria insurance companies use to determine rates for drivers. Find out more about auto insurance from Cornell Insurance Inc.

 

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