Every licensed driver is guilty of occasionally being a bad driver. The goal, of course, is to be alert and engaged with the task at hand every time you get behind the wheel. Distractions, unfortunately, are everywhere. Bad behaviors developed over the years can be difficult to break. And any unsafe driving habits or avoidable mistakes can lead to auto accidents.
- You’re more distracted than you think you are.
You may believe that you are an excellent multi-tasker and you can text and drive at the same time, or eat and drive, or tend to your kids in the backseat and drive. Anything that takes your full attention from the road is a distraction.
- You sometimes drive after having a few drinks.
Do you classify yourself as a social drinker? It doesn’t matter how much alcohol you have consumed. Drunk driving is drunk driving – there are no degrees of drunk driving. If you’ve indulged in alcohol right before getting behind the wheel, your driving is impaired, and that’s unacceptable.
- You’re very young or very old.
Teen drivers and elderly drivers are two groups that pose major risks to themselves and endanger the drivers around them. Teens are inexperienced drivers who believe nothing can happen to them. They’re more likely to be on their phones or travel with distracting passengers. Their level of risk-taking is high. Senior drivers know the rules of the road, but their compromised reflexes, vision, and mobility all affect their ability to drive defensively.
- You are completely exhausted.
It’s a simple rule to follow: If you’re tired, you shouldn’t drive. So many drivers believe they can muscle through their exhaustion. Whether you didn’t get a good night’s sleep because you were up with the baby, sick, socializing, or otherwise, there is no excuse for getting on the road when you should be lying down. Drowsy driving is as dangerous as distracted driving and drunk driving, and can lead to just as many fatal auto accidents.
- Your vehicle is in poor condition.
For most drivers, maintaining a vehicle is about as enjoyable as going to the dentist. They know they should do it, but they drag their feet about it. But for every oil change you miss or repairs and recalls you don’t tend to, your vehicle becomes more and more dangerous to you, your passengers, and other drivers. Make time for car maintenance so your car operates properly and keeps you safer.
- Take Responsibility for Your Driving
Auto accidents are preventable. It is every driver’s responsibility to do whatever they can to help prevent these dangerous, life-altering, and sometimes fatal collisions. As a licensed Michigan driver, you know the rules of the road, and you passed the test to legally drive on these roads. Respect the privilege you have been given and be smart, think ahead, make good decisions, and remember that that last text can wait. Acknowledge your limitations and imperfections so you can get where you’re going safely.