Which one(s) of these 8 things have you done?
Let’s say that you never use your phone when you drive and your driving record is clear as day. You’re a good driver, indeed. However, there are things that you might still do that can make you a bad driver. We’ve compiled a small list of things you might not have even thought about that makes someone a bad driver.
1. Having a cold
Sounds ridiculous, right? But think about it. When you have a cold, you’re not in the best of moods in the first place. Anything that has a bad influence on your health is bound to catch up with you on the road. If you have a cold, then the odds of getting enough sleep are slim. You can’t be tired and operate a vehicle safely. Your reaction time is slower and you can get into a collision or hit a pedestrian if you’re not paying full attention. Driving with a cold makes a bad driver.
2. Taking the same route every day
We’re all a little guilty of this to some extent. Why would we change our routes going to school or work? We drive the same route all the time because we’ve found the best way to get there. It makes no sense to take a different route! Or, does it? One of the best things about habits is that we don’t have to think as much since we do it every day. When you’re driving, it’s important to think as much as you did the first time you took that route. If you take the same one every day, then you’ll be on autopilot eventually, which is a very dangerous state of mind when driving. This means you’ll drive without awareness and fail to notice obstacles that come in front of you. You know what we call an unaware driver? A bad driver.
This is an obvious one, but it’s one that we can’t help sometimes. Many traffic crashes result from external distractions, such as cell phones. But internal distractions, such as your thoughts, can also result in collisions. In fact, a study conducted by Frontiers in Human Neuroscience found that driver “inattention” is a major cause of accidents. A researcher involved with the study says that people’s minds wander a lot with some up to 70 percent of the time. Daydreaming might be a way to unwind from the workday, but it also makes a person a bad driver.
4. Forgetting to signal or forgetting your signal is on
It’s easy to forget to signal every single time. At times it can even seem pointless to use signals if there aren’t any cars around us, but this can turn into a bad habit. Signals are our ways of communicating with other drivers. Failure to use them can result in a collision or a traffic violation. Another thing that we sometimes forget to do is turn off our signals once we’ve finished switching lanes. If you forget to turn off your signal, then other drivers will think you’re about to switch lanes and hit their brakes waiting for you to get over. They will be confused! And once they realize you forgot to turn off your signal, they’ll be frustrated with you (the bad driver), which leads us to our next point: honking horns.
5. Can’t handle honks?
We’re not saying that honking the horn makes you a bad driver (although, it can in some cases). We’re actually talking about horns from the other perspective. If someone honks their horn at you and you lose focus or get hot-headed in return, then you’re making a mistake. You should be able to keep your composure when someone honks at you, especially if there are other passengers in the car. If you let a honking horn affect your ability to drive, then you might be a bad driver.
6. Constantly braking
You’re ruining the flow of the road! Hovering your foot over the brake might be a good strategy if the weather conditions are bad. But if it’s a normal day, then hitting your brakes constantly is a sure way to get dirty looks. If you’re stepping on the brakes all the time, then you might have anxiety because of driving. In this case, you’ll need additional driving practice to get rid of those nerves and gain more confidence. It’s also not good for your car. You can wear out your brake pads faster and you’re at a higher risk to get rear ended. Tsk, tsk…
7. Driving a car too big for you
Have you ever seen a truck that parked like crap? We have, too. It’s very common to see someone driving a car that’s too big for them. It can compromise your ability to drive safely and park properly. This is especially true when you have to parallel park. Nowadays, our mindset is to rely on a backup camera and its guidelines to tell us how to park. But a backup camera can’t teach you how to drive a car that’s too big for you. Don’t be a bad driver. Drive a car that’s right for you!
8 Holding the steering wheel wrong
We know that not everyone holds the steering wheel at “10 and 2” and that’s okay, believe it or not. However, we do want you to know that it’s not okay to hold it with one hand. You don’t have the best control. It might look cool, but wouldn’t you rather not get into a collision? We promise that your hot date would rather live even if you think you look like a dork holding the wheel with two hands (you don’t) than get into a crash from your loss of control with one hand on the wheel.