Driving safely should always be your top priority. Unfortunately, there are certain behaviors that make driving riskier for both you and others on the road. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has identified several dangerous driving behaviors that they are working to stop. These behaviors include:
Avoiding these risky driving behaviors can greatly reduce the chances of accidents and keep everyone on the road safe. It’s crucial to prioritize safety and make responsible decisions when getting behind the wheel. Remember, it’s not just your life at stake – it’s the lives of everyone around you. So, always drive sober, stay focused on the road, and put safety first.
The Three Riskiest Driving Behaviors and How to Avoid Them
NHTSA’s Priority: Dangerous Behaviors on National Roads
As drivers, we know that life on the road can be unpredictable, and we have to be constantly alert and aware of our surroundings. Unfortunately, some drivers engage in behaviors that significantly increase the risk of accidents and fatalities. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there are three risky driving behaviors that can have severe consequences. These behaviors are drunk driving, drug-impaired driving, and distracted driving.
Drunk Driving: A Deadly Risk on the Road
Drunk driving is a leading cause of car accidents and deaths on the road. According to the NHTSA, 28% of traffic fatalities in 2019 were caused by drunk driving. Driving under the influence of alcohol can significantly impair your judgment and reaction time, making it impossible for you to safely operate a car. Even if you think you’re not drunk, it’s essential to remember that even one drink can affect your ability to drive safely. If you plan to drink, it’s best to plan for a designated driver or use a ride-share service to get home safely.
Key Point: Any amount of alcohol can impair your ability to operate a vehicle safely, plan for a designated driver or use a ride-share service to prevent drunk driving.
Drug-Impaired Driving: More Dangerous Than You Might Think
Driving under the influence of drugs, whether they are legal or illegal, is extremely dangerous. Like alcohol, drugs can impair your ability to safely operate a car by affecting your reaction time, judgment, and motor skills. Using certain classes of prescription drugs, such as opioids and benzodiazepines, can impair driving ability and increase the risk of accidents. It’s essential to follow your doctor’s orders and to check the warning labels of any medication you’re taking to ensure that you’re not putting yourself or others at risk.
Key Point: Using prescription drugs, illegal drugs or certain medication can affect your driving ability, read the warning labels and seek medical advice before driving.
Distracted Driving: A Threat to Everyone on the Road
Distracted driving has become an increasingly significant problem on America’s roads. Anything that takes your attention away from operating your vehicle can be considered a distraction, such as texting, eating, talking on the phone, or adjusting the radio. According to the NHTSA, distracted driving claimed over 3,000 lives in 2019. To prevent accidents and fatalities, it’s essential to eliminate distractions and focus on the road while driving. If you need to make a call or send a text, pull over to a safe location first.
- Talking on the phone
Key Point: Distracted driving can take many forms, eliminate any distractions and focus solely on driving to avoid accidents.
Buckle Up: Why Seat Belts Save Lives
Seat belts are one of the most effective ways to prevent serious injuries and fatalities in car accidents. According to the NHTSA, seat belts saved over 14,000 lives in 2019. Wearing a seat belt can prevent you from being thrown from the vehicle, hitting the dashboard or windows or impacting with other passengers in a collision.
Key Point: Always wear your seat belt to reduce the risk of serious injuries or death in the event of an accident.
Speeding: How It Increases Your Risk on the Road
Speeding can significantly increase the risk of accidents, injuries, and fatalities on the road. According to the NHTSA, speeding was a contributing factor in 26% of all traffic fatalities in 2019. When you speed, you reduce your reaction time, making it harder to respond to changes on the road. You also increase the likelihood of losing control of your vehicle if you need to make sudden or sharp turns. To prevent accidents and protect yourself and others, always obey the speed limit, and adjust your driving to the road conditions.
Key Point: Speeding reduces reaction time and increases the risk of accidents, always obey the speed limit to avoid serious injuries or death on the road.
Drowsy Driving: The Silent Killer on America’s Highways
Drowsy driving is another hazardous behavior that can put you and others at risk on the road. According to the NHTSA, drowsy driving claimed over 700 lives in 2019. Although it can be challenging to recognize when you’re too tired to drive, some warning signs include yawning, difficulty focusing, and weaving between lanes. If you notice any of these signs, pull over to a safe location and take a break or switch drivers if possible.
Key Point: Signs of drowsy driving are yawning, difficulty focusing and weaving between lanes. Pull over and take a break if you experience these symptoms to avoid accidents.
In conclusion, there are three main risky driving behaviors that can significantly increase the risk of accidents and fatalities on the road. These behaviors are drunk driving, drug-impaired driving, and distracted driving. Seat belts, obeying the speed limit, and avoiding drowsy driving can help to prevent accidents and protect yourself and others on America’s highways. 건