Driving is one of the most dangerous things you do on a daily basis. Good driving habits can help make the difference between a safe trip and a catastrophe. But do you know what bad habits you need to avoid?
The Texas Department of Transportation maintains a database of all reported motor-vehicle collisions that taking place across the state. The trial attorneys at Alford & Clark PLLC dug into the latest data to determine the Top 10 Most Dangerous Driving Habits in Texas.
10. Disregard Stop and Go Signal – 20,983 Crashes
Failing to obey a traffic light can easily cause a crash. Remember that a yellow light is a warning. Many drivers made a habit of running yellow lights or speeding up to try to “catch” the light. This bad driving habit causes over a hundred fatal crashes every year. Shaving a few seconds off your drive by running a yellow or blowing through a red light is not worth that risk.
9. Faulty Evasive Action – 23,945 Crashes
What is faulty evasive action? When a driver takes no evasive action at all when they should have, or when a driver takes improper evasive action by doing something like overcompensating. By staying alert, and not panicking, you can reduce your chances of a crash. Stay alert, stay calm, and stay alive.8. Failed to Yield Right of Way – Stop Sign – 25,329 Crashes
Bad driving habit #8 is the failure to wait your turn at an intersection. It occurs when a vehicle does stop for a stop sign, but then fails to yield the right of way to another vehicle in the intersection. When stopping at a stop sign, it is critical to actually take a moment to look both ways before proceeding through the intersection.7. Followed Too Closely – 25,436 Crashes
Tailgating – unless you’re at a football game – is not only dangerous, it’s illegal. Indeed, Texas law requires that drivers, maintain a sufficient stopping-distance when traveling behind another vehicle. When a vehicle is following too close to take proper evasive action, the results can be deadly: tailgating contributed to 12 fatal crashes in 2015.6. Unsafe Speed – 26,608 Crashes
Many drivers think it’s always okay to travel the speed limit. Wrong! Sometimes safe driving requires you to drop your speed BELOW the speed limit. Not doing so can be dangerous. Unsafe speed occurs when a driver fails to reduce speed while traveling (1) through an intersection or railroad crossing, (2) around a curve, (3) over a hill, (4) on a narrow or winding road, or (5) when approaching a special hazard. A total of 407 fatal crashes could have been avoided last year alone, if drivers made a habit of reducing their speed when caution demanded it.5. Failed to Yield Right of Way – Turning Left – 30,741 Crashes
It’s simple: yield to oncoming traffic. Typically, an oncoming vehicle has the right of way over a vehicle turning left. But even if you have the right of way, make a habit of yielding when trying to make a left turn. The few seconds it takes could save your life.4. Changed Lane When Unsafe – 34,157 Crashes
We have all been stuck behind a slow driver on the highway and felt the urge to pass them. However, reckless passing is one of the most common and most dangerous bad driving habits in Texas. When passing another vehicle – ESPECIALLY on a two-lane highway – make a habit of taking extra care to avoid causing a potentially deadly collision.3. Failed to Drive in Single Lane – 36,238 Crashes
This is the deadliest driving habit. When a driver fails to keep his/her vehicle within their lane of travel, the results can be catastrophic. The dangerous habit of drifting into other lanes or off the road produced 502 fatal crashes last year.2. Driver Inattention – 94,876 Crashes
Pay attention! Driver inattention can result from driving while texting, talking on the phone, putting on makeup, or even playing Pokémon Go while driving (you know who you are). The Texas Department of Transportation defines “Driver Inattention” simply, it’s when a driver’s lack of attention to the road or traffic contributes to a crash. At least 326 fatal crashes occurred last year due to inattentive driving.1. Failed to Control Speed – 136,383 Crashes
Speeding. It’s the most dangerous thing you can do behind the wheel of a car. Each year, approximately 1 in 100 Texas drivers are involved in an accident that was caused by speeding. It caused nearly 140,000 crashes last year, of which 417 were fatal. Speeding doesn’t just mean going over the posted speed limit, it means not adjusting your speed for traffic, weather, and road conditions. Don’t be a statistic, slow down and stay safe.If you have been in a motor vehicle accident, call Alford & Clark now for a free, confidential consultation
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