If you have been doing it for years, driving has already become second nature to you. Sometimes, it has become so instinctive that drivers pay less and less attention to traffic rules and driving guidelines.
Now is a good time as ever to emphasize that these rules have been put in place to make sure the roads you drive on daily are safe for everyone. When everyone follows these laws, there will be no accidents and mishaps on the road.
This is why no matter how convenient disregarding some rules are, following them is a great habit to cultivate.
Five Driving Habits to Let Go Of
It’s time to stop these five common (but still illegal) practices to make the road a safer place for everybody.
1. Driving While Intoxicated
Since pandemic restrictions have been easing steadily due to the increased rate of vaccinations, you may have been enjoying nights out at friends’ houses sharing a drink or two. Enjoying time with friends while vaccinated is fun and safer now, but how about when you are driving? Are you as mindful of your safety while you are on the road home?
Every state has its own penalties for driving under the influence. For drivers aged 21 years old and older, driving with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or higher puts you in trouble with the law. Consequences will also vary, from fines to prison time. Since this offense can alter a person’s life significantly, attorneys for driving under the influence can help prevent imprisonment or lessen the fines you should pay.
2. Driving Without a Seat Belt
It is very easy to minimize the importance of seat belts, especially if you are just going for a quick drive to the laundromat or your local grocery store. However, there is many data to support how effective seat belts are at preventing serious injury or even death. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that seat belts reduce front seat injuries by 50%.
The next time you consider skipping the seat belt, remember that no one really goes out for a drive expecting to get into an accident. Fastening your seat belt is a small task that goes a long way at making sure even that short trip you take is safe. Also, wearing your seat belt keeps you from getting a ticket—so why not, right?
3. Speeding and Running Red Lights
When you’re running late for a meeting and the road seems clear enough, the temptation to step on the gas more than necessary is real. Sure, it reduces your travel time by a significant amount, but it could also quickly put you in an accident. Driving above the speed limit makes it harder for you to slow down, making collisions more likely to occur.
Speeding through intersections also puts you at high risk for car crashes. Focusing on beating the red light makes you less conscious of the possibility that other cars may be driving through the same intersection.
To avoid these issues, just simply do not attempt to go faster when the traffic light turns yellow. This simple practice makes driving through intersections much safer already. Leave the house earlier to avoid rushing through the road, too.
4. Parking in Unauthorized Areas
It is not just poor habits on the road that put you at odds with the law. Parking in areas where you are not allowed also means trouble. Depending on the location of the violation, you could be subject to fines or get a ticket.
Parking violations come in different forms, too. Common ones are parking in spots reserved for those with handicapped passengers and parking without a permit in a residential area. Not inserting money in a parking meter also counts as a violation.
Spare yourself the hefty fines by installing a reliable parking app to give you real-time information on available parking slots wherever you are.
5. Using Your Phone While Driving
When your phone is ringing or you are waiting for an important text message, not picking up the phone while driving can be a challenge. However, distracted driving greatly increases your risk of getting into an accident.
Using your mobile phone while driving is especially dangerous as it is distracting on three levels. It distracts your eyes from the road, keeps your hands off of the steering wheel, and then takes your mind off of what you are doing. If you need your phone while driving, use a hands-free device to minimize distractions.
Abiding by traffic rules makes the road a safer place not only for yourself, but for other drivers, passengers, and pedestrians. Every person has a responsibility towards making the road a safer place.