Most people haven’t been in drivers-ed for quite a few years. While many motorists know the basic rules of the road, they may have developed some habits along the way. Unfortunately, any driving negligence could end up seriously hurting the driver or others.
The most common bad driving habits
While New York adopted new distracted driving laws back in 2017, that doesn’t mean every motorist will abide by the rules. Here are some of the things some drivers do that can put themselves and others at serious risk:
- Driving with headphones on: Listening to music without headphones can be distracting enough. However, it can be even more dangerous when wearing actual headphones. This can be hazardous because the motorists may not be able to hear what’s going on around them.
- Changing lanes without signaling: Doing so is especially risky in heavy traffic. It can still be dangerous even if traffic is light or the driver is in a familiar area. According to a recent study, more than half of all car wrecks occur within a five-mile radius of the home.
- Going above the speed limit: When people are driving well above the speed limit, they can put themselves and others in grave danger. The faster people drive, the worse they typically are at reacting in time to avoid a crash.
- Driving without lights on: Especially when driving in the dark, other motorists need to know where one is going. If drivers don’t turn their headlights on, even if it’s not that dark out, it can cause problems.
- Driving without a seatbelt: Seatbelts have saved countless lives, but some drivers still don’t do it. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 27 million Americans still don’t fasten their seatbelts while driving. It doesn’t matter if someone is driving for three minutes or three hours; seatbelts often save lives.
Motorists should look out for one another
As drivers become more comfortable, some may forget some essential road safety rules. While this can be quite common, motorists need to evaluate their habits and change them for the better.
‘Tis the season for families and celebration as the holidays are upon us. But for thousands of people in New York and across the country, it can be a tragic time as the festive atmosphere of holiday shopping can turn dangerous or deadly.
The National Safety Council (NSC) reports that hundreds of people die as a result of motor vehicle crashes in parking lots and garages, and thousands more suffer devastating injuries. Insurers report claims spike on Black Friday and remain above average throughout the holidays.
Drivers admit to a multitude of distractions
During the holidays, drivers and pedestrians are likely to be distracted by long shopping lists when heading to their local shopping centers and they are in a hurry to get to the next location. The NSC recently conducted a survey, where a majority of drivers admit they are not keeping their focus on driving:
- 63% say they regularly adjust their climate control and GPS systems
- 56% are reading and sending texts
- 52% check their social media sites and routinely post while on the move
- 50% check their email inboxes and even compose and send emails
- 49% are watching video on their phones and often take selfies and other photos
Pedestrians are most vulnerable
In 2018, more than 6,000 pedestrians were killed across the United States, the highest number in almost three decades. Nearly one out of every 10 pedestrian fatalities in parking structures result from a vehicle backing up. The NSC offers these safety tips:
- Pull through your parking spot, if possible, so your car is heading forward into traffic
- Do a quick 360-degree survey of your vehicle and the surrounding area looking for low-lying objects and check if any people are nearby
- Do not rely solely on your backup camera or other technology when leaving — look over your shoulder and use your mirrors
Seek knowledgeable and aggressive legal representation
Hundreds of thousands of people are injured each year in motor vehicle crashes, causing physical and financial hardships for many. If you are involved in a crash, an experienced personal injury attorney here in New York can help you receive the benefits you are owed from insurance companies as well as a fair and impartial medical assessment. If you are injured by someone else’s negligence, your attorney will aggressively fight for the compensation you deserve.