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Bad driving habits develop over time and are escalated by the amount of digital technology we have surrounding us at any time. Texting and driving is one of the most common problems among drivers, but there are a number of habits we have all succumbed to at least once and these actions can lead to severe, often fatal, auto accidents.
Every driver has at least one instance where they have given in to one or more of these bad driving habits and activities:
1. Distracted Driving
This involves more than texting—eating, using an in-car navigation system, talking to a passenger and any activity that causes your eyes to veer from the road is considered distracted driving. Smartphones specifically are responsible for an estimated 1 in 4 car accidents in the United States. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that during each minute of the day there are more than 660,000 distracted drivers on the road.
2. Driving Under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol
Whether you’ve been drinking or are under the influence of an illicit or prescription drug, you need to find another way to get home safely. Drivers under the influence don’t realize how impaired their reflexes and reasoning abilities actually are.
A 2013 study revealed that 29% of fatal traffic accidents involved speeding. Wherever you’re headed can wait. Follow the speed limit signs, and be aware that just going 35mph in a 25mph zone can mean the difference between life and death in a pedestrian auto accident.
4. Drowsy Driving
Driving while tired can be considered as dangerous as drunk driving because your ability to react to changing road conditions and oncoming traffic and/or pedestrians is diminished. More than 1,000 fatalities and over 83,000 auto accidents are caused by drowsy driving each year according to the NHTSA. Driver fatigue is often responsible for truck accidents as the drivers spend long hours in the truck to make deliveries on time.
5. Driving in Bad Weather Conditions
Severe rain or snowstorms can turn the safest of roads into a path of disaster. Don’t hesitate to pull off to the side of the road or turn back for home if you’re struggling to see the road lines and other cars clearly. An estimated 1.5 million auto accidents are caused by bad weather conditions each year.
6. Driving While Sick
Simply having a cold can have an impact on your ability to drive safely. Additionally, if you’re on cold or cough medicine, prescription painkillers or any other medication that hinders your mental capacity to react to changing traffic and road conditions, you should stay at home to rest, have someone drive you or call a cab.
There are many other habits that contribute to the high number of auto accidents each year including reading books, shaving or applying makeup while driving, computer use and attending to a child or pet.
Have you fallen prey to the habits listed above? Next time you get behind the wheel, make a conscious effort to say no to distractions and bad driving practices.
If you’ve been injured in an auto accident, please call our attorney in Orlando today at (407) 712-7300 to schedule your FREE consultation. Our experienced attorneys serve clients throughout Florida and nationwide.