Embarking on a journey behind the wheel is a liberating and empowering experience. The open road lets one explore new horizons, visit loved ones, or simply enjoy the pleasure of driving. However, with this freedom comes great responsibility—to oneself, the passengers, and fellow road users. To drive safely and responsibly, avoiding common mistakes that may lead to accidents, injuries, or worse is essential. Below are some common driving mistakes to avoid.
Distracted driving is a norm that most drivers fall prey to. The need to check a text message, scroll through social media, or adjust the GPS might look more important. However, this should not be the case. Failing to pay road attention is increasingly dangerous and can claim the lives of numerous people. It is imperative always to pay attention on the road to avoid accidents and injuries.
Speeding can be a problem despite being a thrilling experience. It is a great contributor to road mishaps. When drivers exceed the posted speed limits or drive too fast, not caring about the road and weather conditions drastically reduces the reaction time and increases the severity of collisions.
Tailgating, or following the vehicle in front too closely, is one of the most common driving mistakes. Not only does it escalate stress and anxiety for both drivers, but it also leaves minimal room for error. In the event of sudden braking or unexpected obstacles, a tailgating driver has very little time to react.
Ignoring traffic and stop signs
Disregarding traffic signals and stop signs is a dangerous violation that often leads to fatal outcomes. It’s important to obey these signals strictly, even when the road appears clear. Running a red light or failing to halt at a stop sign can result in T-bone collisions, side-impact crashes, or deadly pedestrian accidents.
Failing to signal
Proper communication on the road is essential to prevent misunderstandings and accidents. Neglecting turn signals or changing lanes without indicating can confuse other drivers and lead to sideswipes or rear-end collisions.
Overlooking blind spots
Every vehicle has blind spots—areas around the car that aren’t visible in mirrors. Failing to check blind spots before changing lanes or merging onto highways can result in dangerous accidents. Proper mirror adjustment and shoulder checks are essential.
Fatigue and drowsy driving
Fatigue can be impairing when it comes to driving. Drowsy drivers are more likely to make errors in judgment, have slower reaction times, and may even fall asleep at the wheel. Long road trips without regular breaks and inadequate sleep can contribute to drowsy driving.
Disregarding weather conditions
Driving in adverse weather conditions, such as heavy rain, snow, or fog, requires special attention and adjustments to the driving style. Failing to adapt to these conditions can lead to skidding, hydroplaning, or reduced visibility. It can also pose a considerable driving hazard for fellow drivers on the road.