10 Unsafe Driving Techniques That Put Your Life at Risk

man driving a car at night trying to prevent an accident

What if you were putting your life at risk, and you didn’t even know it?

We all know it’s dangerous every time you get behind the wheel, but we mostly worry about other drivers. Unfortunately, that means you might not notice when you are practicing unsafe driving techniques that put your life at risk.

Discover the most dangerous driving techniques and how to protect yourself and your family better whenever you’re on the road.

Sending Text Messages While Driving

Smartphones can help you drive around, thanks to GPS navigation apps. But texting while driving leads to nasty car accidents. In fact, 25% of car crashes now involve a driver who was texting! Try to put your phone on “do not disturb” or place it out of reach for the duration of your travel.

Embrace the wisdom we teach our kids: Never drive distracted!

Driving Under the Influence

One American will die every 51 minutes due to drunk driving. One reason for this is that people get inebriated at bars and restaurants and convince themselves they are still sober enough to drive home.

Drunk driving threatens your life and the life of countless others on the road. And keep in mind that a DUI conviction may result in a suspended license, thousands of dollars in fines, expensive insurance, and even jail time.

Putting on Makeup While Driving

Many women try to save a bit of time by putting makeup on in the car on the way to their destination. However, putting on makeup and driving is a bad combination. In the moment it takes you to look down and find your lipstick or check your reflection in the rearview mirror, other drivers can easily blindside you.

Eating While Driving

If you lead a busy life, eating while driving may seem like a good idea. After all, who wants to take a lunch break when they can save an hour by chowing down in the car?

But like putting on makeup, eating in the car is always a bad idea for the driver. Simply holding the food means you will have less control of the vehicle. And getting distracted by looking down at the food or trying to find a place for things like fast food wrappers means you are even likelier to get into an accident.

Aggressive Driving

Side profile of an angry young driver bring unsafe

While road rage is a big culprit, many other dangerous driving actions can be labeled “aggressive driving.” And believe it or not, aggressive driving is behind a staggering 56% of fatal car crashes.

What is aggressive driving? In addition to raging at other drivers, this includes driving recklessly, changing lanes erratically, and otherwise ignoring things like speed limits and other traffic rules.

Driving With Headphones On

Many of us are guilty of driving with headphones to listen to some hot tunes or cool podcasts. But driving with headphones on is surprisingly dangerous.

That is because many headphones effectively cut off your sense of hearing, especially if you are blaring loud music. When this happens, you may not be able to hear the warning honk from another driver or the siren of an approaching emergency vehicle.

Following Vehicles Too Closely

When you follow other vehicles too closely, you are effectively putting your life into the hands of the other drivers. That is because all they have to do is pump the breaks and cause you to crash into them. To make matters worse, you may even be legally liable for rear-ending the other person when this happens.

Not Wearing a Seatbelt

Remember, the seatbelt keeps your body from flying out of the window in a car accident, and it can keep you from breaking your neck on the dashboard. Honestly, wearing the seatbelt while driving is the single best thing you can do to stay safe.

Not Checking the Blind Spots

Blind spots are a fact of life when you drive. Whenever you change lanes or back up, it’s important to check the blind spots, so you don’t hit anything (or anyone, for that matter).

That may sound like common sense, but drivers cause accidents every day by failing to check these spots. Keep a close eye on your blind spots, and don’t forget to signal well ahead of time before you change lanes. And make double-checking your blind spots part of your regular vehicle maintenance before you make any major trips.

Letting Your Dog in Your Lap

If you have smaller dogs and ride with you, it may be tempting to let them ride in your lap. After all, this can calm the dog down, and they love the sensation of sticking their faces out of the car window.

However, letting your dog ride in your lap is extremely dangerous. This is because dogs are unpredictable: They could get startled and fall by your legs, keeping you from applying the brakes. In some cases, a dog may even jump out of the window in fear or excitement.

When traveling with your dog, make sure they are secure in the vehicle. And never let them ride in your lap (no matter how much they whine).

Stay Safe With the Right Insurance

Now you know more about unsafe driving techniques. But do you know where you can find affordable insurance to protect you and your family?

At Cost-U-Less, we offer personalized quotes from different insurance providers, so you have access to affordable and fair plans. Get started with quotes online, visit us at an office near you, or call us at (800) 390-4071.