October 31, 2023 | Allison Robertson

Driving Etiquette 101: Bad Driving Habits


Bad Driving Habits That Drive Everyone Crazy Drivers split image

We've all been there – stuck in traffic, only to be infuriated by a fellow driver's questionable habits. While we can't control the actions of others on the road, we can certainly identify some of the most annoying driving behaviors that tend to grate on our nerves.

In this article, we'll dive into several bad driving habits that commonly irk other road users. We'll back these observations with statistics from reputable sources like Consumer Reports and safety reports to emphasize the importance of safe and courteous driving.

Tailgating

car tailgatingMarbury, Shutterstock

Tailgating is when a driver follows the vehicle in front too closely, leaving little room for reaction in emergencies.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), rear-end collisions caused by tailgating account for 29% of all accidents.

Texting and Driving

The Dumbest Person I KnowFlickr, Virginia Department of Transportation

Texting while driving is a dangerous distraction that diverts attention from the road.

The CDC reports that texting and driving leads to nearly 1,000 injuries and nine fatalities every day in the United States.

Failure to Signal

That’s How That Works factsShutterstock

Neglecting to use turn signals contributes to confusion and unsafe lane changes. Consumer Reports notes that 48% of drivers admit to not using turn signals consistently.

Excessive Speeding

Shia LaBeouf factsShutterstock

Speeding reduces reaction time and increases the severity of accidents.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reports that speeding contributes to 26% of all traffic fatalities.

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Not Yielding the Right of Way

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Failing to yield when required creates dangerous situations at intersections.

The NHTSA reports that failure to yield the right of way is a contributing factor in approximately 3% of fatal accidents.

Ignoring Stop Signs and Red Lights

Weirdest Things Seen In Public FactsShutterstock

Running stop signs and red lights endangers everyone at intersections.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety states that red-light running causes around 900 fatalities and 2,000 injuries each year in the United States.

Changing Lanes Without Signaling

Insta-Karma factsPexels

Suddenly changing lanes without signaling can lead to accidents and road rage.

A survey by the American Automobile Association (AAA) found that 56% of drivers admit to not using their turn signals when changing lanes.

Hogging the Left Lane

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Lingering in the left lane without passing slows down traffic flow.

Consumer Reports notes that 41% of drivers admit to occasionally or frequently encountering left-lane hogs on highways.

Cutting Off Others

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Cutting in front of other vehicles without adequate space can cause panic stops and collisions.

The NHTSA reports that improper lane changes, including cutting off others, are a contributing factor in 9% of crashes.

Not Dimming High Beams

Driving at nightArtem, Adobe Stock

Failing to dim high beams for oncoming traffic or following vehicles can blind other drivers.

A study by the National Safety Council (NSC) found that improper use of high beams contributes to a significant number of nighttime accidents.

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Road Rage

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Aggressive driving behaviors like tailgating, honking excessively, or making rude gestures can escalate conflicts.

According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, aggressive driving is a factor in 56% of fatal crashes.

Driving While Drowsy

Driving tiredAnupa, Adobe Stock

Fatigue impairs reaction time and decision-making abilities, increasing the risk of accidents.

The National Sleep Foundation reports that drowsy driving is responsible for 1,550 fatalities and 40,000 non-fatal injuries annually.

Final Thoughts

Bearded man with blue shirt is driving a car with a shocked face.tommaso79, Shutterstock

While we can't control the actions of other drivers, being aware of these common bad driving habits and striving to avoid them can make our roads safer and less frustrating for everyone.

Remember that safe and courteous driving benefits not only you but also your fellow road users.


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