Want to be a safer driver? Let go of these bad road habits

From road safety audits and infrastructure development to enforcing strict penalties for traffic violations and speedy intervention from emergency medical services in case of accidents, initiatives for improving road safety are picking up pace all across the world. At the same time, rapid technological advances in the automotive industry have made cars smarter and safer than ever before. New generation vehicles are equipped with a range of advanced safety features like sensors, backup cameras, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, etc. that are meant to assist drivers and decrease the likelihood of accidents.

And yet, the rate of road traffic accidents continues to pose a major concern. Data provided by the World Health Organization (WHO) reveals that car crashes are responsible for the death of over 1.19 million people every year, and an additional 20 to 50 million more people suffer non-fatal injuries that often result in debilitating lifelong health issues.

So, if roads are improving and cars are getting safer, what could be the cause for the uptick in traffic accidents and fatalities? Judging by the common denominator, the human factor is to blame. Complacency behind the wheel combined with poor driving habits seem to be the main factors behind this alarming phenomenon. People either rely too much on technology or engage in unsafe driving behaviour, knowingly or unknowingly, which ultimately leads to an increased risk of car crashes.

Studies have shown that up to 96% of all traffic collisions are due to human error. In the event of a car crash caused by someone else’s negligence, the victim can collect compensation for the damages they’ve sustained by filing a personal injury claim. But if people are at fault for the majority of these unfortunate incidents, this also means that most car crashes are preventable. Each and every person sitting behind the wheel can do something in this respect by breaking bad road habits and learning to become safer drivers.

Distracted driving

Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of vehicle crashes in the UK and it usually involves people texting, talking on their phone, adjusting the radio or fiddling with the car’s navigation system instead of focusing on their driving.

But it’s not just the use of tech gadgets that can divert drivers’ attention from the road. Engaging in other activities such as eating, smoking, applying makeup, listening to music or even having a heated conversation with a passenger can be just as dangerous. Driving already counts as multitasking, so if you need to answer a call or do anything else that requires your attention, play it safe and pull over.

Drowsy driving

Everyone knows that driving under the influence (DUI) is a criminal offence, so we won’t go over how reckless this behaviour is. But we will draw attention to a habit that’s just as irresponsible and risky, although it’s less talked about, namely drowsy driving.

Getting behind the wheel while you are tired is similar to driving while intoxicated. When you are sleep deprived, your ability to focus is considerably diminished, leading to slow reaction times to potential dangers. In case you need to prepare for a long journey, make sure to schedule regular stops and get enough rest or break your tip into shorter and more manageable distances with overnight stays in between to avoid drowsy driving.


We all have somewhere to go when we get on the road and many of us are in a constant hurry, but that’s not an excuse for speeding and putting everyone’s lives in danger. The risk of being involved in a car crash increases exponentially with the driving speed as you are more likely to lose control of the vehicle. Higher driving speeds also increase the severity of the collision substantially, so you have to ask yourself if it’s really worth rushing to get to your destination.

If driving above the speed limit has become a habit for you, you might want to work a bit on your patience and time management. Planning ahead is a much better way to ensure punctuality than speeding. And next time you’re running late and feel the need to push the gas pedal, remember it’s better to arrive late than to not arrive at all.

Giving in to road rage

We’re all familiar with the frustration and anger of dealing with heavy traffic, being stuck behind a slow driver, or sharing the road with distracted drivers. However, traffic conditions and other people’s poor driving skills don’t condone aggressive driving behaviour.

Road rage is a recipe for disaster as it can cause drivers to lose their focus and act irrationally. Even if you have all the reasons to be angry, you should never let your emotions get the best of you and push you to do something that you’ll later come to regret. Try to keep your cool, don’t take things personally and focus on the road and the journey you’re taking and you’ll be less likely to get in trouble.

Not checking blind spots

When you’re driving, it’s crucial to pay attention to your surroundings, and managing blind spots is a big part of it. Vehicle dimensions and structure, cabin load, and traffic conditions can obstruct your view and make it difficult for you to notice obstacles or other motorists and vehicles. That’s why you always have to check your blind spots and make sure the road is clear, especially when you want to change lanes. It’s also important to avoid driving in someone else’s blind spot and keep a safe distance from other vehicles.

These tips can be just as useful for new and seasoned drivers and make roads safer for everyone. So, make sure you keep these recommendations in mind next time you get behind the wheel so you can enjoy smooth and safe rides.