10 Dangerous Practices to Avoid While Driving

Reaching in the back seat while driving

This month, we talked about avoiding common driving practices that are very dangerous. Here’s a list to all 10 parts plus the supplemental article.

Part 1: Reading While Driving

Part 2: Avoid Texting While Driving

Part 3: Driving with your Knees

Part 4: Driving with Something or Someone in your Lap

Part 5: Driving with Headphones

Part 6: Changing Clothes or Applying Makeup

Part 7: Grabbing Something Out of Reach

Part 8: Eating and Driving

Part 9: Road Raging

Part 10: The Stats

Supplemental: Driving, Teens, and Learning Disabilities — Something You Need to Know

Part 10: The Stats

The Stats

(Series:  10 Dangerous Practices to Avoid While Driving)

Here’s a few statistics about distracted driving from a 2014 review published in The New England Journal of Medicine.

  • Dialing a cell phone increases the risk of a crash by 8X.
  • Reaching for a cell phone increases the risk of a crash or near crash by 7.02X.
  • Sending or receiving text messages increases the risk of crash by 3.82X.
  • Reaching for an object other than a cell phone increases the risk of crash 8X greater than waiting until the driver arrives.
  • Looking at a roadside object increases the risk of crash 3.9X.
  • Eating increases risk of crash by 2.99X over those who do not eat.

Part 9: Road Raging

Road rage - angry driver shouting in his car

(Series:  10 Dangerous Practices to Avoid While Driving)

It’s common for drivers to get upset.  Many times a person is distraught in some way before they even enter their car – a disappointment occurred, an argument happened, a trauma was experienced.  Road rage is not just getting upset at another driver.  All a motorist needs to do is be in a negative mindset.

Driving with a negative mindset is dangerous.  It causes mental distraction affecting one’s ability to concentrate.  Getting angry at another driver (regardless of who’s fault it is) may cause a person to drive more aggressively.  It’s an accident waiting to happen.

If you find yourself in a negative mindset, get calm and collected as soon as possible – preferably before starting your drive.  Don’t put anyone’s life in danger, including life of your passengers, because you are having a bad day.  It’s not always easy, but it’s worth it.

Choose to drive safely.  If you find your ire increasing, do what it takes to settle things down for the sake of yourself, those who may be riding with you and for those who are in the other vehicles around you.

Driving, Teens, and Learning Disabilities — Something You Need to Know

Driving Distractions - texting and driving

Has your teen started driving yet?  Every good parent is concerned when their teen starts driving.

Teaching any child to drive can be a quite an encounter.  When a teen has a learning disability, it can increase the challenge. For example, consider that distraction is the leading cause of crashes among all drivers.  Cell phones ringing.  Interesting happenstance on the side of the road.  Taking your eyes off the road for just 2 seconds doubles the chance of either being in or near a crash.

For a teen with ADHD, staying focused on the road may be especially hard.  Impulsivity issues increase the risk of an accident.  In some cases, a teen with ADHD may be more likely to speed.  Depending on your teen’s unique combination of challenges, they may be up to four times more likely to be in a crash.  (Thankfully, ADHD medications may significantly reduce the risk.)

Other challenges can include visual and spatial issues that can affect perception of left and right, judging distances or even reading a map.  Executive functioning issues affect your teen’s ability to quickly make decisions to deal with driving circumstances such as a missed exit or a road detour.  Teens with dyspraxia can have a hard time coordinating body movements and hand-eye coordination.

  • Each teen’s challenges are unique to them, so keep these points in mind as you help them learn to drive.
  • Recognize the issues and that they can impact all driving.
  • Be sure their driving instructor knows the unique topics that should be addressed.
  • Recognize that it may take longer for your child to learn to drive, and they may need more practice.

Having the right insurance for your teen driver is very important.  Contact us and one of our agents will be glad to help you find the best insurance for you.