Skip to main content

Cabarrus Magazine

Bad Driving Habits To Ditch Right Now

Feb 15, 2021 11:15AM ● By Kristy Huddle

It doesn’t matter how long you’ve had a license or how many hours you’ve put behind the wheel—there’s always room for improvement in your driving habits. Sometimes it’s the smallest things that can lead to the biggest issues and incidents on the road. Recognize any of the following blunders and bad decisions in your driving? Take heart. It’s easier than you think to recognize bad driving habits to ditch right now.

Don’t Rage Against the Machine (or Anyone Else)

Road rage creates more problems than it solves, and when it comes right down to it, it doesn’t make you feel any better. Recent studies show that almost 80 percent of drivers in America display aggressive behavior, including speeding, tailgating, ignoring traffic signals, and general driving unsafely. Sound familiar? Well, it’s an easy fix. Remember the Golden Rule and treat others the way you’d like to be treated. Don’t go out of your way to hit the gas or brakes to offend, and don’t take offense at seeming bad behavior in other drivers. It may just be a misunderstanding. Mostly, relax, take a few calming breaths, and concentrate on what others might be thinking, and more importantly, on safely getting where you’re going.

Adjust for Stormy (and Other) Weather

Rain, snow, fog, and hail: harsh weather demands even better driving. The worse it gets, the more of an effort you should take to ensure that you, your vehicle, and your fellow drivers stay safe. The main rule is to always drive slower and stay alert. Start out by making sure your car is ready for almost anything nature can throw at it. Make sure your car gets regular checkups and that vital parts like the brakes, tires, and wipers are in top condition as well. These are your first line of defense against weather-based hazards like hydroplaning and low visibility.

Take Action To Eliminate Distractions

Smartphones, iPads, navigation systems, and audio systems are wonderful, entertaining devices. That makes them terrible distractions while you're driving and one of the key bad driving habits to ditch right now. The same goes for eating, grooming, and entertaining passengers or whoever is on the other end of the line. Focus on driving by minimizing interactions with those around you and ensuring you have nothing in your hands except the steering wheel.

Rest at Home, Not on the Road

Taking care of your car is important, but don’t forget to look after the most vital part of the automobile—you, the driver. Drowsy driving is a literal killer. According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) falling asleep at the wheel accounted for some “72,000 crashes, 44,000 injuries, and 800 deaths in 2013”. Get enough sleep off the road and before a long trip, and obviously—don’t drink or use medication that can cause drowsiness before heading out.

Like what you're reading? Subscribe to Cabarrus Magazine's free newsletter to catch every headline