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Top 5 Dangerous Driving Habits

It is definitely time to drop these dangerous driving habits.

The roads are getting busier and with Spring Break at its peak, there are enough hurdles to already make your commute difficult. To make roadways safer in general, the NHTSA suggests drivers should make a conscious effort to avoid these 6 risky behaviors.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released projections for traffic fatalities during the first nine months of 2022, showing an estimate of 31,784 people died in crashes – a 0.2% decrease from the previous year. However, while fatalities decreased, it saw an increase in cyclist and pedestrian deaths.

“Fatalities have not increased for two quarters now, but we have far more work to do to save lives and address the crisis on our nation’s roadways. That means investing in safety, implementing strategies that work, and embracing the safe system approach outlined in the Department’s National Roadway Safety Strategy,” NHTSA acting administrator Ann Carlson said in a release. “We urge everyone to do their part by driving safely and watching out for others on the road, especially vulnerable road users like pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists.”

To make roadways safer overall, drivers should make a conscious effort to avoid these six behaviors that the NHTSA has deemed the riskiest.

1. Drunk driving

There were over 11,500 reported fatalities in vehicle accidents where at least one driver was impaired by alcohol in 2020. This was a 14.3% increase in alcohol-impaired-driving crash deaths from 2019. A daunting statistic: more than 50% of the impaired drivers were young, between the ages of 21 and 34.

drug impaired driving

2. Drug-impaired driving

Driving under the influence of any kind of substance can come with fatal consequences, and while alcohol’s effects on drivers are popular, more research needs to be done to fully understand the impacts of drug and polysubstance use on someone operating a vehicle.

Law enforcement is raising up the drug-impairment stakes in efforts to hone-in on drug-impaired behavior by certifying more than 9,800 drug recognition experts (DREs) officers as of December 2019, according to the CDC. States reported that 49,905 DRE evaluations were performed in 2019.

distracted driving

3. Distracted driving

The NHTSA’s 2020 driving report shows 3,142 died and 324,652 people were injured in distracted driving crashes. No matter how smart your mobile device is, cell phone usage is usually the first thing that comes to mind when discussing what can distract your driving attention. However, other harmless activities like adjusting the climate controls in your car, eating while driving, talking to passengers or fiddling with the radio are all things that can take your attention off of the road long enough to cause a crash.

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4. Not wearing seat belts

Over 90% of front-seat occupants wore their seat belts in 2021, according to the National Occupant Protection Use Survey (NOPUS), which is conducted on an annual basis by the NHTSA’s National Center for Statistics & Analysis. The survey also found 51% of passenger occupants killed in 2020 were not wearing a seat belt – which was an increase of 4% from 2019 – and 58% of those killed in nighttime crashes were unrestrained. The NHTSA claims buckling up in the front seat can reduce your risk of dying by 45%.

speed driving

5. Speeding

In 2020, speeding was involved in 28% of fatal crashes and 13% of injury crashes – 11,258 deaths & an estimated 308,013 injuries in total. These statistics show a 17% jump in speed-involved fatalities from 2019. Over the course of the last 20 years, speed has been involved in around one-third of all motor vehicle deaths. At higher speeds, drivers are less able to control their vehicles, take evasive maneuvers, or stop quickly if necessary. This can lead to more serious collisions and put all road users at greater risk. Furthermore, safety equipment such as seatbelts and airbags become less effective when traveling at speed, meaning that even in the event of an incident, occupants inside the vehicle may be injured or killed. For these reasons, it is important to always adhere to the posted speed limit and drive carefully – not only could you save your own life but also the lives of other road users. 

drowsy driving

6. Drowsy driving

It can be difficult to keep your eyes open behind the wheel, but it is important to remember that driving while fatigued is incredibly dangerous. Not only are those who are tired more prone to making poor decisions and misjudging distances in their vehicle, they also have a greater risk of crashing. The NHTSA reports 633 people died in drowsy-driving-related crashes in 2020. These crashes tend to happen most often between midnight and 6 a.m., and usually involve just vehicles carrying only a driver that runs off the road with no sign there was an attempt to brake.

Most of them seem like no-brainers, but we want you to know we are here to support your personal auto insurance questions or needs. Please contact us today for further assistance.

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