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There’s a chance the majority of us have been driving down the highway and encountered the notorious line of traffic that is synonymous with an accident. We never think that it can happen to us but many people have dangerous driving habits that can lead to severe accidents. Those involved in wrecks over the holiday weekend could have potentially been engaging in dangerous driving habits that caused them to wreck. Between December 28 and December 31st, police were called to 149 accidents and 10 people died. Police officers can only do so much to prevent accidents.

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Dangerous Driving And Car Accidents – A Warning From InsurancePanda.com (Image source – FLICKR)

The rest of the responsibility lies with the driver. Granted, sometimes you will get into situations that are out of your control. No one will blame you for circumstances which were not your fault but many times, an accident or the resulting death is caused by unsafe driving practices. One of the fatalities on the road was 29 year old Megan Watkins. Her sports utility vehicle ran off the road and collided with a tree. She was not wearing a seat belt and was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident. There’s not a way to tell if she had lived had she been wearing seat belt but you shouldn’t even take that chance.

Every time you get into a vehicle, you essentially risk your life and when you engage in unsafe driving habits, that risk rises exponentially. The most serious consequences are those that none of wish to think about but other results can be multiple tickets and rising insurance rates. These are things that will stick with you long after you improve your driving skills so starting from square one is the best method to prevent long term harm.

Unsafe Driving Skills

We’ve all seen those drivers who you know probably shouldn’t be on the road. They are in your neighborhoods, you’ve seen them on the highways and television has showed them careening onto sidewalks to pass stopped school buses. We all view this as unacceptable behavior and believe that drivers like this should be punished but there are also varying degrees of dangerous driving behavior. You may be surprised to learn that you engage in some of these habits on a daily basis.

Aggressive Driving

One of the dangerous driving habits that we may find ourselves participating in on a unconscious level is aggressive driving. Perhaps the person in front of you is going 5 miles below the speed limit and you have no way of passing them and you are running late to an appointment. It’s acceptable to feel a little bit of anger but if you are passing on a solid yellow line and honking your horn, you might be an aggressive driver. Ultimately, you have to understand the old adage: Patience is a virtue. You never know how much of an effect that one split second decision made in anger will have not only on you but on other unsuspecting drivers.

Ignoring the Traffic Signs and Signals

Always use your turn signal and pay attention when other people are using theirs. Surprisingly, many people do not use their turn signals when making a turn or heed another driver’s warning. We’ve all seen the person who drives with their turn signal still flashing but that doesn’t mean that we should always ignore it. It’s meant to act as a warning to a car behind the driver to slow down. If you don’t use your turn signal, the driver behind you may not know that you are turning, especially if your brake lights aren’t working properly, and could possibly slam into you. Not a good day for either driver and the same principle applies to traffic signs. They are there for a reason so you should obey them. When there is a stop sign, ti doesn’t mean slow down and if no one’s coming, speed through the intersection. No matter what, you should always come to a complete stop. You never know who might be coming through the intersection that day.

Distracted Driving

Cell phones and texting while driving have become one of the major concerns of anyone on the roads in the past few years. As technology had made our life easier by providing all kinds of apps that help us in ways we couldn’t have imagine, it also hinders us because it almost seems as if we are connected to our phones in a negative way. Many people routinely answer phone calls, emails, and text messages while driving down the road. This requires them to take their eyes and mind off the road, which endangers themselves and other drivers. Road conditions can change in a split second and when you are sending a text message, it’s the equivalent of driving an entire football field’s length without looking at the road. Some states have even banned this activity. Ultimately, when you are behind the wheel, you should be paying attention to the road and not to what is happening on your phone.

How Bad Driving Affect Your Insurance

Some other bad habits that constitute dangerous driving is not wearing a seat belt and driving while drunk. We all know this and it isn’t brand new news but many people still insist on participating in this dangerous behavior on a daily basis. If you are lucky enough to escape any kind of serious accident or injury, know that police are constantly on the lookout for offenders who engage in this kind of risky behavior. Getting a ticket could be the best thing that happens to you. After that, if convicted, the violation appears on your driving record and once your insurance company finds out, expect to pay more in your insurance premiums. Ultimately, you should drive to protect yourself and your passengers. A positive by product is going to be lower insurance rates and the peace of mind that you doing the best you can while navigating the roads.