10 Driving Habits You Should Ditch

Talking on Cell Phone/Distracted Driving

We have all been a victim of this driving habit where the person in front of you continuously flashes their brake lights, over corrects their steering or takes forever to go when the light turns green. You pass them up only to find that they are on their cell phone, putting on makeup or eating a burger. Don’t be ‘that guy’ and save the texting, eating or whatever else you find necessary to do while driving for later.

Driving Too Fast For Road Conditions

Whether it’s foggy outside, raining or even snowing (not exactly an issue in South Texas) there is always that one car that seems to be invincible to the elements and continues to drive the normal speed limit or faster when it really calls for slower, more cautious driving. It is not only annoying, but extremely dangerous to drive recklessly in weather that is hard to see in. Depending on the circumstances your vehicle may not grip the road as it normally would and can cause a serious collision if not driven properly. Take caution during bad weather, it’s not worth arriving a few minutes early when there is a slight chance of not arriving at all.

Not Signaling When Changing Lanes

This is a very common habit of most drivers that can lead to road rage, a ticket, or even a collision. Use your signal light as necessary to alert other drivers of your intentions. That also doesn’t mean to switch on your turn signal after you already started to switch lanes.

Leaving High Beams On

There are places and circumstances that call for high beams, cruising down Ocean Drive is not one of them. There is nothing more irritating than driving down the road and being blinded by a light almost a mile away. Be considerate of other drivers and try to routinely check your dashboard to make sure your high beams aren’t on.

Taking Two Spaces in a Parking Lot

If you are afraid that someone might hit your car so you decide to park in two spots instead, trust me, this is not the greatest approach. If you are worried about the well-being of your vehicle, then park at the very back or on the far side of the parking lot away from vehicle and pedestrian traffic.

Straddling the Line

This common habit is when someone drives in the middle of two lanes and can’t seem to figure which one to choose. This is extremely dangerous and impedes the flow of traffic making it difficult for someone to pass. As a rule of thumb, try to position yourself behind the car in front of you to where your seat is directly behind theirs.

Tailgating

I think we can all agree that this is perhaps the most annoying habit a driver can have. Tailgating is a serious occurrence that leads to over 2,000 deaths and about 950,000 injuries a year. You should always leave at least one cars length in between you and the car in front and behind you. By creating this space you can allow yourself time to react, and protect yourself from being hit in the case you need to suddenly brake.

Creeping Forward at a Red Light

Did no one ever play ‘red light, green light’ as a child? You don’t creep forward if the person says red light! You stop directly in your tracks and wait until they say green light. It is no different in a car at a traffic light. If the light is red, you are to make a complete stop. Rolling forward can cause other drivers to assume the light is green and mistakenly take off or worse another vehicle can hit yours as they turn to your side of the road. There’s a reason for the broad white stripe in front of the traffic lights. It’s for you to know where to stop. Pedestrians crossing should have ample room and not worry about traffic moving closer just because you’re an eager beaver.

Honking

My car sounds like the roadrunner when I honk, so I tend to rarely use it except when absolutely necessary. However, others seem to avidly use theirs in any situation they can. Whether they are in traffic, waiting at a light, or simply expressing their road rage, people use their horn as an expression of how they are feeling as opposed to using it for what it’s actually for. Using your horn when it doesn’t call for it causes others to panic and others to become angry. Don’t be the cause of another road rage news article and instead use your horn only when absolutely necessary.

Rubbernecking

“It’s not polite to stare.” It seems your mother was right on this one folks. Nobody enjoys being in an accident, having to change a tire on the side of the road, or getting a ticket. Having people gawk at them from the highway doesn’t make it any better. Not only does this slow down the flow of traffic, but when people stare at an accident or any other commotion on the side of a road it can lead to further collisions and create a bumper to bumper effect or worse, a pile-up.

Bottom line: Drop these habits! Be smart, and drive safe!

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