Top Five Driving Mistakes We All Make

For most of us, driving is a second nature activity, like walking or eating.  We can do it without even realizing that we are doing it and as such, that can lead to a confidence that we do it well, whether we actually do or not.  In this blog I want to go over the top 5 driving mistakes that we all make from time to time, and hopefully it will serve as a reminder to avoid these practices.

driving_mistakesOne thing the people rarely consider when they get into an automobile is that the process of driving a vehicle is for most of us, the most dangerous activity that we will do in any given day.  Now we go years and years without a mishap or accident so it is easy to forget this.  But, looming out there every time you get behind the wheel, is the risk that if you do make a mistake, the results could be catastrophic or even fatal for you.  So taking time every now and then to honestly evaluate your own driving habits with yourself is a practice that could save your life or the life of someone else.

Let’s start with one of the biggest and most common mistakes: Tailgating.  We see this all the time on the highway; people in a hurry, trying to push others on to drive faster may use tailgaiting as a way of emphasizing their point to the driver in front of them.  Some people drive too close to the car in front of them simply as a matter of course.  I’ve seen people who simply drive right up to the next car in front of them, not because they are in a big hurry, but because this is their default setting for how fast to drive in any situation.  Put an open road in front of them and they aren’t sure what to do.  For those of you who commute on the highway, when you are forced to spend an extra half hour in traffic on the way home or to work, most of the time it is because someone ahead of you was following too close.

Stopping instead of yielding.  There are several places where this creates a problem.  The most common is the acceleration ramp in the highway.  Inexperienced drivers often have trouble with this and simply come to a stop instead of finding a way to blend into the flow of the traffic on the highway.  Stopping is very dangerous, not only for the stopped car, but for the cars behind that are not expecting a car in front of them to stop.  This is also a big problem at traffic circles where a driver’s attention is on the cars to the left in the circle as opposed to the car in front of them which they don’t expect to stop.

Trusting Mirrors.  This is one I find myself guilty of from time to time.  I know,  I know, it does take a bit more effort to look over your shoulder when changing lanes, especially when you have checked all of your mirrors and you don’t see anyone coming.  But I think most of us have had that scary experience of starting to make a lane change, only to hear the honking of the car beside us that was in our blind spot.  This is a habit that takes effort but could save your life.

Failing to Yield on Green.  The green light means go of course, but some intersections seem to be worse than others for having people force their way through a red light.  Experience will help here but you should always be cautious when moving through an intersection.  Intersection accidents often result in terrible injuries and you can avoid this by being more aware of everything going on outside of the green light itself.

Multi-Tasking and driving.  This is one of my pet peeves.   I personally quit using my phone in my car about 2 years ago.  In my business I see the results of multi-tasking while driving and frankly I’m just scared that I will forget where I am if I use my phone for any of the many great things it can do while I’m driving.  Keeping your focus on the driving that you are engaged in could save your life or someone else’s, so really it is worth the effort.

At Clinard Insurance Group, we want all drivers on the road to finish their errands and come home safely to their loved ones.  I hope these tips will help keep you aware of the importance of staying engaged in your task of driving while you are operating a motor vehicle.