9 September 2016 9:17 am / Road Trip Drivers Buy a Car Finance a Car

8 Things You're Doing While Driving to Endanger Yourself

Don’t deny it. You’ve done one or two of these.

Most people like to think they’re good drivers. Safe, respectful, and always complying with the rules of the road.

But don’t lie to us. We know you’ve done one or two (or three) of these. Bad habits are ingrained in Canadian drivers and though they aren’t given a second thought, they can get you into a ticket or even an accident.

1. Driving Under the Influence 

This should be a no-brainer. Have you seen the commercial where the guy says goodnight to his canine best friend and there’s a moment where you think he won’t ever return? Yeah. Heart wrenching. Be the person your dog thinks you are and don’t drink and drive. Brain-altering substances severely hinder your ability to think clearly and make sharp decisions when you’re behind the wheel. It’s hard to react when your mind is foggy from one too many beers, so use a designated driver or hail a cab next time you decide to go out.


2. Driving When Tired

Similar to drunk driving, your brain cannot function at full capacity when you’ve been pulling too many hours at the office or haven’t been catching as many Zs as of late. Fatigue will cause you to have slower reactions to everything that happens around you. If you feel yourself nodding off while on the road, pull over and take a break until you’re refreshed and ready to go, or, if you have a passenger with a license, ask them if they could take over.


3. Speeding

Speeding is the second leading cause of traffic fatalities after drunk driving. The higher your vehicle speed, the harder the impact will be upon collision, which means the more regrets you’re bound to have. This rate is unequivocal, meaning that the severity of impact increases exponentially with higher speeds. Going too much below the given speed limit can also be dangerous since you’re making it more likely for another driver to run into you while disrupting the average speed and flow of traffic on a road/highway. Obey the signs. Go the speed limit. When in doubt, take Speed Racer’s lead foot and your Grandpa’s ‘nothing-above-40’ habit and aim for somewhere in the middle. 

4. Distracted Driving

You’ve probably heard it a million times, but seriously, put your phone away when driving. Using wireless, hands-free, or Bluetooth options can be much safer than a physical hand-held device if you need to communicate. The same goes for putting on your makeup, eating and drinking, having a heated conversation, or any other task that requires you to take your mind and eyes off the road.


5. Failing to Yield to Risky Road Conditions

You wouldn’t gun the engine in a snowstorm. Why would you when it’s raining, hailing, or foggy? Slowing down in less than prime weather conditions can be the best way to prevent an otherwise avoidable accident, and it’s especially crucial in colder, crisp fall weather conditions. It’s also a good idea to leave ample space between you and the car in front of you; slowing down will also prevent you from skidding all over the road, and veering into the next lane or a nearby ditch.


6. Failing to Yield at All

Respecting the rules of the road can go a long way in protecting you from potentially fatal crashes. This includes freeway merge lanes, intersections, right and left turns, and any other situation where drivers need to be wary of each other and give the right of way to the person who got there first.


7. Not Wearing Your Seatbelt

We don’t care if all the cool kids are doing it. Your car’s safety features are there for a reason. It takes two seconds at the beginning of a trip. Don’t be a loser. Buckle up.


8. Driving With Your Hand on the Gearshift

Using your gear shift as a hand rest will wear it down, and is an unsafe driving habit. Your hand can weigh down the components of the gear shift, causing them to rub together and eventually, erode. This can, in turn, cause your car to shift out of the correct gear. Do yourself a favour: keep your hands on your steering wheel instead. 



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