Owning a car doesn’t mean you can drive your car the way you want. As a car owner or driver, you are expected to be responsible whilst driving but that’s not all. Being mindful of other road users while you are driving is just as important of driving the car itself.
This is one of the reasons there are traffic laws and rules guiding the activities of drivers and road users. These laws must be adhered to, which brings us to bad driving habits you need to stop. Have a look at the list below:
1. Not Wearing a Seatbelt
This is an important safety issue. Sometimes the choice between life and death could lie in the seatbelt. While some see wearing of the seatbelt as a tough burden, this shouldn’t be an optional driving decision. Others think because the belt could create unwanted creases on their clothes, they shouldn’t put it on. However, when you weigh the choice between smashing your head against the windscreen and rumpled clothes, it’s a no-brainer based on the safety of the driver, its occupants and other road users.
Not wearing a seatbelt is also a big traffic infraction in Nigeria and could lead to big fines and delay if caught by traffic law enforcement officials.
2. Using Your Mobile Phone
This is one of the most dangerous forms of distracted driving. The time it takes to read or respond to a text while driving is enough time to get into a fatal accident. This puts your life, that of your passengers and other road users at risk.
There are hands-free devices you can use that prevents you from getting distracted while driving.
3. Dazzling People With Your Headlights
There are other drivers that don’t know when to switch to dipped headlights. When you use full-beam headlights, you create a clear path for yourself by blinding others.
The best thing to do when driving under poor visibility is to switch between full-beam and dipped headlights.
This is from the handbook of the impatient driver. Tailgating is the act of leaving barely little space between you and the car ahead of you. This is just as dangerous as many other bad driving habits we will be highlighting.
Once the car in front makes a sudden stop, you are bound to smash into it if you are tailgating. This could also be intimidating. Leave a space of at least two seconds between you and the car ahead and double the space in bad weather.
This is one of the causes of accidents on the road. So much has been said about this that it is unnecessary to paint a picture of what overspeeding can do at this point. All that can be added is that you drive at the speed limit and not an extra mile over the speed limit.
6. Failing to Indicate
Other drivers on the road cannot predict your next turn if you don’t indicate using the indicator. Like you, they do not possess supernatural powers to tell where you plan to go next. The indicators in your car serve as a warning to drivers about your movement to prevent collisions.
When making a turn, changing lanes or at a roundabout, do not leave the driver behind or pedestrians guessing as this could be dangerous. Flick that light on even when there is no one in sight.
7. Honking the Horn Unnecessarily
The car horn is fixed in the car to alert other road users to danger. But many car drivers, it has become an instrument for expressing their road rage and the frustrations they experience while driving. They have made the honk lose its shock value for danger by reaching for it too frequently; even in situations when it is unnecessary to use it.
8. Braking Harshly
Some drivers think they are engaged in a race whenever they take the wheels and then have to come to a screeching halt when the traffic begins to build in front of them.
For some, it is the loud cry the engine makes when they bring the car to a halt that gets them pumped and overly excited.
Always reduce your speed in good time to prevent this as slamming on your brakes at the last minute puts others in an uncomfortable position where they have little time to adjust to your new speed. This normally leads to a collision and leads to the wear and tear of the vehicle.
9. Setting Off Too Quickly
Have you seen those who plunge speedily into the green light as if waiting one more second will make them arrive late at their destination? This is just as bad as braking harshly before traffic. It is unhealthy for your car and puts other road users at risk. If you need to be at a place early, set off on time so that you won’t be in a rush.
10. Disobeying Traffic Signs
As awkward and as weird as this might sound, there are still drivers who do not stop for the red light. This is a dangerous habit on the road and can come with fatal consequences. Obey all traffic signs at all times to keep the road safe for yourself as well as other users.
Final Thoughts on Bad Driving Habits
It doesn’t matter whether you are driving a foreign used Honda car, a Toyota or a Range Rover, if you cannot control bad driving habits, then you do not deserve to be allowed to drive a car. It’s that simple and straight forward.