In Florida, almost everyone uses a car. We drive to and from work or school. We drive to the grocery store and the movies. We drive to the beach, restaurants, and bars. We drive to visit our friends and family.
Because we drive so much, it’s easy to forget that cars are extremely powerful machines. Many people take driving for granted and use their driving time irresponsibly, not realizing that their actions and behaviors can have serious and potentially deadly consequences.
So let’s look at the most common dangerous driving behaviors that drivers should avoid – and that you should watch out if they want to remain safe when you’re on the road.
Drinking and driving. Most people know that drinking and driving is wrong and dangerous. But that doesn’t always stop them. When someone gets behind the wheel after consuming alcohol, they often assume that they’re really not thatimpaired. Most likely because they have driven drunk before and nothing bad happened. That doesn’t make it okay, though. It’s difficult for someone to judge their own level of impairment, which is why you should always find another way to get home if you’ve been drinking. With Uber and Lyft, finding a sober driver is easier than ever.
Speeding. There are speed limit signs for a reason. The faster people go, the more serious a crash will be. It’s pure physics: an object in motion will stay in motion. Along those same lines, the faster people drive, the harder it is to quickly stop or slow down a vehicle in order to avoid a crash. You might be tempted to go faster if you’re in a rush or stuck behind a slower vehicle, but remember, if everyone sticks to the same speed, the road is safer.
Distracted driving. There are numerous things we can do in a car that can distract us: texting, fiddling with a cellphone, eating, drinking, putting on makeup, grooming, talking, playing with the radio, using a map, and even daydreaming. When you’re driving, you need to be paying attention to the road instead of everything else going on around you. When you’re distracted or simply divert your attention from the road – no matter how briefly – you risk the safety of yourself and others.
Not wearing a seat belt. According to the CDC, seat belts can reduce serious crash-related injuries and death by about half. Airbags provide added protection, but they’re not a substitute for seat belts. They are most effective when they work together to keep people safe. So why is wearing a seat belt such an issue when they’re so easy to use? As soon as you get into a car – whether as a driver or a passenger – you should always wear your seat belt. No matter what.
Driving tired. You might think it’s odd that driving tired is on this list, but it can be just as dangerous as driving drunk. Surprised? When you’re tired, your reaction times will be slower. On top of that, if you need sleep, your body will do anything to get it, so tired driving can lead to falling asleep. If you feel yourself starting to nod off when driving, you should pull over somewhere safe and only continue driving once you’ve rested.
For something we do every day, often without question, driving can be a dangerous task. But if you take driving and the responsibility that comes with it seriously, you can be sure that when you’re on the road, everyone will be a little bit safer. If you have been injured in a car accident, contact your local Miami injury attorneys to see if you’re entitled to compensation for damages sustained.