Here's what drivers can do to avoid causing car accidents.
Many car accidents occur due to preventable mistakes made by drivers. Fortunately, there are steps motorists can take to avoid causing serious crashes. As we make our way through the start of 2024, now is a great time to make these changes, according to AAA.
"Bad driving habits may be universal, but they are not irreversible," AAA says. "Just a few adjustments can change your behavior."
So, what are some of the worst driving habits? Do drivers in Indiana have some of the same dangerous driving habits? And what can drivers do to avoid making these common mistakes? Our Indiana car accident attorneys at Glaser & Ebbs explain.
What are some of the worst driving habits?
While many types of dangerous driving habits exist, certain behaviors are more common than others. That's why the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety conducts a study each year focusing on which bad driving habits are the most prevalent.
Recently, the organization released the results of its 2022 study. Officially called the "Traffic Safety Culture Index," this study is based on anonymous responses from 2,500 drivers nationwide.
Drivers who participated in the study were asked about their attitudes towards some of the most common bad driving habits. The study also asked drivers if they personally engaged in such dangerous driving behaviors within the past 30 days. The results were startling:
- 5 percent had talked, texted, or emailed while driving "a few times" within the past 30 days.
- 8 percent failed to stop at a red light at least once in the last 30 days.
- 7 percent admitted to driving 15 mph over the speed limit on a highway or 10 mph over the speed limit on a city street.
- 9 percent drove while extremely tired, which the study defined as being so tired the driver could barely keep their eyes open.
- 5 percent drove without wearing a seatbelt at least once in the last month.
- 9 percent admitted to driving while impaired by alcohol at least once in the past 30 days.
What dangerous driving habits are common in Indiana?
The bad news is that many drivers in Indiana have the same bad habits as other drivers nationwide. According to the most recent car accident data compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Indiana set a decade-high record in 2021 for car accident fatalities involving speed-related crashes. That year, 252 people died in speed-related car accidents in Indiana.
In addition, car accident deaths remained high in Indiana in two other dangerous driving categories – drunk driving accidents (234 deaths) and car accident fatalities involving drivers or passengers not wearing a seatbelt (245 deaths).
What changes can drivers make to correct bad driving habits?
So, what can drivers in Indiana do to prevent collisions? Some of the best ways to correct common mistakes include:
- Turn off your cell phone while driving or set it to "do not disturb."
- If speeding is a problem, consider setting your cruise control to a lower speed limit, especially while driving on highways.
- If you drink alcohol, have a plan to get home safely, including either a designated driver, rideshare service (e.g., Uber or Lyft), or public transportation.
- Obey all traffic signs, especially stop signs and red lights. Make sure you come to a complete stop before driving through the intersection or turning.
- Don't react to other aggressive drivers on the road. Stay calm and continue to drive safely.
Seeking legal help after a crash
If you were injured in a crash involving a negligent driver, you have the right to seek fair and full financial compensation for your losses. However, the process can be complex, and if you're not careful, you could lose out on the compensation you're entitled to under Indiana law.
At Glaser & Ebbs, our car accident attorneys know how to build strong cases, deal with insurance companies, and fight for the maximum compensation our clients deserve. To see how we can help with your potential legal case, contact us and schedule a free case evaluation. We have six offices conveniently located throughout Indiana, including offices in Indianapolis and Fort Wayne. We also work on a contingency fee basis. That means you pay no fees unless we win your case.