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5 of the Most Dangerous Driving Habits and How to Break Them

March 31, 2023 Legal Team

For most Americans, driving is a necessity. It is part of a daily routine and any thoughts during driving are geared towards the destination, not the journey. However, it is time to pay more attention to the journey.

Driving is dangerous and is getting more so every year. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were approximately 42,915 traffic fatalities in 2021. This was a 10.5% increase from 2020 and the highest annual rate in the nation’s history.

Dangerous driving habits such as speeding, distracted driving, and driving under the influence increase the chances of becoming a fatality statistic. Learn about these habits and how to break them in the following article.


The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that speeding was a contributing factor in 29% of all traffic fatalities in 2020.

When drivers speed, not only do they break the law, but they also increase the chances of:

  • Losing vehicle control;
  • Sustaining severe crash injuries; and
  • Being unable to stop their vehicle if needed.

The most cited reason for speeding is running late. Therefore, plan ahead and allow extra time to reach appointments, children’s activities, and work, especially during rush hour.

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is anything that takes a driver’s attention away from the task of driving. Distracted driving accidents killed more than 3,100 people in 2019 and injured approximately 424,000 others.

Distracted driving includes but is not limited to:

  • Eating
  • Talking to passengers
  • Texting

The most dangerous type of distracted driving is using a cell phone as it simultaneously takes the mind, hands, and eyes off of the road.

Quitting the distracted driving habit starts with

  1. Putting the cell phone away in the car; and
  2. Selecting GPS destinations and music before starting the car.

Drivers can also ask a passenger to perform these tasks so they can focus on the road.

Driving Under the Influence

Driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs and alcohol is illegal in the United States. However, a 2022 report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) noted that drunk driving accidents kill 10,000 people every year. This is around one-third of all traffic-related deaths.

DUI reduces the ability to think and react quickly while behind the wheel. Drivers under the influence have difficulty judging speed, distance, and the movement of other vehicles.

Choosing to drink means thinking ahead. Decide on a designated driver in advance or use a rideshare service. Never ride with someone who has been drinking.

Reckless Driving and Road Rage

Reckless driving is driving without regard for the safety of others. Reckless driving is extremely dangerous to everyone on the road, and it is a crime. Road rage is a type of reckless driving that is fueled by stress or anger.

Reckless drivers may disobey traffic signals, run lights, speed, and tailgate. Drivers who are prone to emotional or reckless driving may find the following helpful:

  • Leaving early;
  • Breathing deeply to stay calm while driving; and
  • Not driving immediately following high-tension situations.

Alcohol and drugs can fuel road rage and reduce reaction times while driving. It is vital to avoid both before getting into the driver’s seat.

Failure to Signal

Using turn signals prevents injuries. Turn signals alert other drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists of a driver’s intentions.

The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) reports that over two million car accidents occur annually from turn signal neglect. Turn signals are required by Florida law except by bicyclists when both hands are needed in operating their bicycles.

Remembering to use a turn signal starts with repeated use. Using a turn signal when making a right or left-hand turn, even in a parking lot, will become a habit with time.

How an Experienced Car Accident Attorney Can Help

All good habits start with repetition, but you cannot account for the bad habits of others. If you or a loved one suffered serious car accident injuries through no fault of your own, first seek medical attention, then, reach out to the experienced attorneys at Shapiro | Delgado | Hofmann

Shapiro | Delgado | Hofmann has over a hundred years of combined experience serving clients injured by the careless or negligent acts of others. Let our dedicated car accident attorneys in Bradenton and Sarasota help you obtain the compensation need to move forward with your best life.

Your consultation is complimentary at Shapiro | Delgado | Hofmann, and you owe us nothing unless we win! Call (941) 954-4000 or contact us online.