Driving a motor vehicle is a serious responsibility, but unfortunately too many people get behind the wheel and drive while distracted, drunk, or drowsy. Some people even get behind the wheel when they’re distracted, drunk, AND drowsy.
All of these behaviors increase the risk of car accidents and bodily injury, but many drivers do not take into consideration the very real dangers that come with being irresponsible. Even at a time when drunk driving is on the decline, motor vehicle traffic injuries are the leading cause of traumatic brain injury related deaths, with rates being the highest in adults aged 20 to 24 years old.
So in an effort to help you be more aware of your actions while driving, here are some of the most dangerous things drivers can do on the road.
Driving too close behind a tractor trailer
Even though many drivers believe that driving behind tractor trailers can help with gas mileage, it is incredibly dangerous to do so. Your life isn’t a NASCAR race, and whatever benefit you come from riding in the slipstream is cancelled out by your increased risk of car accidents. Because you are driving so close, there will not be enough time to brake before hitting the big rig. Not to mention that truck drivers cannot see what is directly behind them, so driving like this can be a recipe for disaster.
Not adjusting speed for weather conditions
The idea behind this is simple. The faster you go, the higher the chance of getting injured in a car crash. This also goes for when the weather gets bad, so slow down so you do not slip on ice and sleet. Even rain can be dangerous.
Too many drivers fail to adjust their driving behavior in the rain. If you drive the exact same way during a pouring rainstorm as your would on a bright sunny day, then it’s time to reevaluate your driving.
Driving while under the influence of alcohol and drugs
It is a well known fact that alcohol and drugs impair your judgement and reaction time. This can cause tragic consequences and fatal car accidents, but unfortunately driving under the influence is all too common. In 2012, Mothers Against Drunk Driving reported that 10.3 million people reported driving under the influence of illicit drugs in the past year. That number did decline to 9.9 million in 2013, but that’s still millions of drivers with delayed reaction times clogging up the nation’s highways and intersections.
Moral of the story, if you are under the influence, at all, then it is best that you call a taxi or ask a designated driver to come pick you up.