New drivers beware! After coming out of driving school, you know how to drive, but certainly not drive well. You still have a long way to go before you actually know how to anticipate correctly and adapt to each and every possible situation.
To make that easier, don’t start taking bad habits right away, here are 5 dangerous habits that you could end up with that you absolutely want to avoid:
- Not checking your blind spot
Normally this reflex should be locked in your subconscious, but many drivers completely neglect this essential step before making a lane change. It seems to be unnecessary, especially when you’re an advanced driver, but it’s far from being that case!
Your blind spot can’t be seen from either your rear or side mirrors. All it takes is a quick swing of the head left or right to make sure no one is close to you. The most dangerous part too, is that even if you spot the car in your blind spot at the last second, you won’t have time to react, since you’re already so close to him in the first place.
This is particularly risky too if there’s a risk of motorcycles or bicycles next to you, considering they’re small in size but more vulnerable to accidents.
- Texting/phoning and driving
Using a phone in the first place while you drive is just plain stupid. If it’s urgent, then stop somewhere to make a call or to text. It’s just not worth the risk, yes, you can be focused while you write your text for example, but your attention very well may divert at the worse possible moment.
Calling is almost the same, but your brain must do a lot more tasks at the same time, which will inevitably increase your reaction speed by at least 200% (considering the average reaction speed is of 1 second).
You’re breaking the law too, so if you get caught by a policeman, you could be taking a fine, it’s just not worth the risk. Don’t put your life and other’s at stake just to answer someone through your phone. It can wait. It always can, even if it’s just 15 seconds.
- Not using turn signals
Not only this is dangerous, but it literally pisses off everyone on the road. Turn signals are used to indicate that you’re about to change your course or lane. Everything’s been made simple as hell too in your car to use the turn signals just with the tip of your fingers: it literally takes 0 effort to use them, yet so many people seem to forget about them.
What’s more, don’t be lazy to use them at all times, even when you’re parking your car: your turn signal will “pop” many times, and you’ll have to put it back a bunch of times, but it’s something you should discipline yourself to do.
Combine that with not checking your blind spots and you’ve got the perfect recipe for an imminent accident.
- Driving in a bad mental state
By bad mental state, that doesn’t mean being crazy, but maybe not being in the right mood for driving.
Drowsy driving for example is one of the main causes of accidents on the road so far. We all know that feeling of having just to push through a few more kilometers before reaching home, but please think before you act. Take a nap before, or if you’re feeling tired at any point. Driving in a tired state is comparable to driving while intoxicated, so once more, it’s an unnecessary risk to be taking.
Don’t drive in an aggressive or tense manner too: if you are feeling stressed, your ability to judge situations could be clouded, and so will be your focus. Take a deep breath, and try to relax, because being tense overally isn’t going to help you in any sort of way.
Aggressive driving is a factor in more than half of driving injuries.
Don’t get mad for nothing just because you lost a few seconds. Don’t start driving at insane speeds and tail tag every car you can’t pass. Don’t start creating unnecessary stress among all drivers, especially the ones in front of you.
That one sort of speaks for itself, but if speed limitations exist, it’s for a freaking safety reason. If you feel in a rush to get to your destination earlier, you should have left earlier, there’s just no point in trying to catch up the time you lost.
Plus, driving over speed limits doesn’t make you gain that much time: if for example you drive at 86 mph instead of 80 mph, after an hour, all you’ll have gained is less than four minutes:
If you make a trip of 62 miles, at 130 and 140 mph, you’ll take respectively 46,2 and 42,6 minutes. Subtract them, and you’ll realize that all you’ve technically gained is 3,6 minutes, when you put everyone in danger for such a measly bit of time won.
That’s a clearly unprofitable investment, drive at a reasonable seed within the regulations permitted by law.
And that is the 5 bad habits that you should get rid of as soon as you can if you have those! If you’re a young driver, make sure to always pay attention to not start taking them, as they’re a big source of accidents.