Some simple fixes can lead to safer roads.
This probably won't come as any surprise, but there are a lot of people who have bad driving habits out on the road. The problem is that these bad driving habits often lead to car accidents that leave people hurt.
More than half of survey respondents in the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety's annual Traffic Safety Culture Index admitted to some type of risky driving behavior. This included:
- 7% who reported speeding
- 3% who admitted to aggressive and distracted driving
- 15% who reported all distracted driving behaviors
- 3% who admitted to impaired driving.
The good news is that bad driving habits can be fixed with some simple adjustments. AAA offers some ideas for all drivers on changing their behavior.
Not surprisingly, phones are a big source of distraction while driving. Many survey respondents reported holding and talking on a phone, reading messages or other content, texting, or emailing while behind the wheel. The danger is that it takes the driver's eyes off the road, their hands off the wheel, and their minds off the task of driving.
Barbara Ward, traffic safety specialist with AAA Northeast, offers a simple solution for drivers. Put your phone on "Do Not Disturb," then put it out of reach while you're driving.
Alcohol and drugs can impair judgment, decrease reaction times, and reduce coordination and focus. This impairment leads to risky decisions, slower responses to road hazards, and an increased risk of accidents.
How to fix this habit? Don't get behind the wheel after using alcohol or drugs. Choose a sober driver, take a taxi, or use a ridesharing service such as Uber or Lyft.
Fatigue can also impair a driver's alertness and cognitive ability. A drowsy driver has a reduced attention span, slower reaction times, and impaired decision-making ability. Drowsy drivers sometimes fall asleep at the wheel or lose consciousness for several seconds.
Don't drive when you are feeling fatigued. If you are taking a long trip, stop for a break every two hours or 100 miles. If you are traveling with someone, take turns driving if possible.
When a driver exceeds the speed limit or drives too fast for conditions, there is less time to process and respond to obstacles, other vehicles, or pedestrians. A car is also harder to control at higher speeds, and the force of impact can result in more severe injuries.
Fixing this bad habit is also straightforward – slow down. Be aware of the posted speed limit and follow it. Consider using cruise control on the highway.
Behaviors such as tailgating, reckless lane changes, and road rage increase the risk of an accident. Aggressive drivers are often impatient and angry, and these feelings can impair judgment and decision-making.
Staying calm is the key to fixing this bad driving habit. Avoid contact with angry drivers, and don't respond to aggression with more aggression.
Injured in a crash? Contact Lawter & Associates today
Drivers with bad habits often cause accidents that leave people seriously injured. Victims often need extensive medical treatment and may worry about covering the cost of their medical bills and other accident-related expenses. If a negligent driver caused the crash, the victims deserve financial compensation. However, negligent drivers often deny doing anything wrong, and insurance companies will try to pay as little as possible. That's when having an experienced attorney on your side can level the playing field.
The car accident lawyers at Lawter & Associates, Attorneys At Law, PLLC have been fighting for the injured in Oklahoma City, Tulsa, and throughout Oklahoma for decades. We build strong cases that insurance companies have to take seriously and know how to fight for the maximum recovery our clients deserve.
If you were hurt in an accident caused by a negligent driver in Oklahoma, learn more about how we can help. Contact us to schedule a free consultation.