In almost every aspect of life, bad habits are temptingly easy to pick up, and once we’ve got them, they can be quite tricky to shake off. In driving this can be a little more serious, as bad habits can often lead to dangerous driving, so you want to avoid them at all costs. Usually when you’re learning to drive, your instructor will teach you in a way that doesn’t allow any bad habits to come into play, but once you pass your test and are driving by yourself, you’d be surprised how easy they are to pick up, even if through just being a little lazy.
We wanted to talk about some bad driving habits you really need to avoid and the dangers that can com from them.
Now, both your highway code and your driving instructor will teach you about the importance of leaving enough stopping distance between you and other cars. Furthermore, your stopping distance should increase in poor weather conditions. For example, in rain and wet weather it’s supposed to double, and in snowy or icy conditions, you must increase your stopping distance by 10x. This is extremely important in road safety, as driving too quickly or too closely to another vehicle can cause accidents as it may not allow you enough time to stop. By tailgating (driving too close to the vehicle in front of you), you’re putting yourself and other drivers in danger, as you might not have enough time to brake and as a result, could cause a collision.
This is probably one of the most common bad driving habits. The whole purpose of indicators, is to let other drivers know what you’re doing ie if you’re turning off or into a junction, pulling over, or switching lanes. Without indicating, you’re not giving others on the road any notice to prepare for your actions, and this can be extremely dangerous and cause accidents. It can even be a danger to pedestrians, who may be waiting to cross the road and unaware that you’re going to turn in their direction.
Harsh braking is only really done when you’re braking too late and last minute. This is dangerous as it doesn’t give drivers behind you enough notice to know that you’re stopping, and they may not have enough time to brake and as a result could crash into you. If ever you’re braking, you should do it slowly so that those behind can see that you’re slowing down and take action themselves.
Trying to overtake another car when it isn’t safe to do so is a terrible habit in driving. This causes danger to yourself and everyone else around you. When overtaking, you should make sure you have enough room, and indicate early before moving so that all drivers around you are aware of the action you’re about to take. Sometimes, people come speeding up from behind and overtake extremely quickly and with very little room to do so. This doesn’t give other drivers enough time to react and can cause a collision. Furthermore, not indicating when you overtake is dangerous because others won’t know that’s what you’re about to do and may take a conflicting action that could cause a crash.
Using your mobile phone whilst driving is illegal for a reason. It doesn’t matter if your vehicle is parked in a line of traffic not moving, you cannot use your phone behind the wheel. Despite being aware of the dangers, so many people still take calls whilst driving, or send a quick text when they think it’s safe, but having your attention distracted even just for a few seconds can be life threatening on the roads.