Over the years, we all get more comfortable behind the wheel. While experience often improves our driving skills, it can also lead to the development of some not-so-great habits. What do we mean? Well, here's a look at five bad habits experienced drivers might have picked up.
1. The California Stop
According to the law, drivers are required to come to a complete stop at a stop sign and then can proceed when it's their turn. However, California drivers are known for being in a rush, hence the name of this bad habit. When doing a "California Stop," drivers slow down and then go through the intersection without ever completely stopping. No matter how confident (or late) you are, this bad habit can earn you a ticket, or worse, could cause an accident.
2. Not Using Your Turn Signals
Most have responded in frustration to a driver that neglects to use their turn signals. You may think it's not a big deal and you don't need to signal every time. However, turn signals inform those around you about your intentions which may impact their driving decisions. For example, if you plan to change lanes, the driver behind you may decide they don't need to change lanes to get around you. It's best to always flip the turn signal when turning or changing lanes — just to be safe.
3. Driving Distracted
After many years of driving, it's common to feel confident in your abilities. So confident that you think you can drive and, perhaps, adjust with your radio settings, reach into the back seat to grab something off of the floor, or turn around to tell your passenger something. While you may be able to perform these tasks while driving without issue, one second of looking away from the road could lead to a disastrous consequence. It's best to save the other tasks for once you get to your destination to avoid being distracted.
The more you drive, the more you may feel comfortable traveling at faster speeds. For example, if the speed limit on the freeway is 70 mph and most drivers are going 75 mph, you may think 80 mph is reasonable for a morning when you're running late for work. However, traveling at higher and higher speeds puts you and those around you at a greater risk of injury or death in the event of an accident. Plus, speeding tickets aren't cheap. It's best to leave a bit of extra time for yourself so you don't feel the temptation to speed up.
Lastly, a bad habit that some drivers pick up is tailgating. Tailgating is when you drive closely behind the car in front of you. It can be uncomfortable for the person driving in the front and can lead to an accident if that person needs to come to an abrupt stop. Whether you think the person in front of you is driving too slow, you're in a hurry, or you're just not paying much attention to your following distance, it's important to follow the three-second rule. That means you can count to at least three Massachusettes before you pass the point they passed.
Need to Get a Ticket Dismissed?
Did you happen to get a ticket for one of these bad habits or something similar? You may be able to get the ticket dismissed by completing a defensive driving course. You will have to make sure you qualify for ticket dismissal with the court first. If you do, you can take the course online at DriversEd.com, brush up on your driving skills, and prevent the ticket from hurting your driving record and insurance rate.
Learn more about online defensive driving courses!