If you’ve been in a car any time recently, then you won’t be surprised to hear that distracted driving is on the rise. From people texting in the driver’s seat to drunken driving and even more outrageous scenarios such as drivers doing their makeup or tying a tie on the way to work, drivers do plenty of things that aren’t appropriate doing behind the wheel. However, some actions go beyond behavior and become habitual when they’re repeatedly performed. What are some of the worst driving habits you can have? Read on to find out the top three things you shouldn’t be doing while driving.
Texting Behind the Wheel
Nobody should be surprised to hear that one of the most dangerous driving habits is texting while driving. As the proliferation of smartphones has continued to rise, so, too, have instances of texting behind the wheel. According to studies by the National Safety Council, texting while driving accounts for more than 1.5 million crashes annually. In fact, research is beginning to show that texting while driving is six times more likely to be the reason behind a car accident than driving under the influence of alcohol.
These are truly sobering statistics, especially considering how many people believe that they are able to do both at once or text while at stop lights or in heavy traffic. No matter what the conditions are, you should never text while driving. It is simply too much of a risk to even consider, especially when you know how often accidents occur. If you’ve been in an accident and you or another driver was texting, it might be best to consult an accident attorney.
Driving Without Enough Sleep
Similar to drivers who text behind the wheel, driving without enough sleep often feels like something that can be accomplished. Many times, drivers believe that if they are aware that their behavior could endanger themselves or others, they will actually be safer and more alert. Alertness, however, doesn’t increase if you are already exhausted from a long workweek, if it’s late at night, or if you just haven’t been sleeping very well. In fact, drivers who are sleep-deprived often get pulled over because they’re exhibiting behaviors similar to drunken driving. All of this is a recipe for catastrophe and a reason you should only drive when you’re feeling well-rested.
Driving Under the Influence
It should go without saying — especially because it’s against the law — that driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is also a driving habit that you must avoid at all costs. In most states, a BAC (blood alcohol content) level of .08 percent constitutes the legal limit for intoxication while driving. This equates to roughly two drinks for a man within one hour or one drink for a woman within an hour. Any drinks over that number can cause impairment, and, as a result, jeopardize your life or the lives of others on the road. Drunk-driving accidents, just like accidents in cases where a driver is texting or has not gotten enough sleep, can often cause serious injury, even if they do not result in death. In such cases, physical therapy or even the work of orthopedic surgeons may be required to address lasting issues from car accidents.
This list illustrates how important it is to be focused and clear headed when behind the wheel of an automobile. We often take for granted how dangerous driving is because it’s a task we perform so regularly. Even so, complacency in the driver’s seat can be dangerous. Stay vigilant, and you could just save a life on the road.