Many drivers develop bad driving habits, ranging from texting while driving to not using turn signals. Sometimes, making safe driving resolutions can be challenging. However, doing so can prevent car accidents and save lives. Any small distraction or misjudgment when driving can be deadly. In 2021, the U.S. recorded 3,522 deaths due to distracted driving, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety's latest Traffic Safety Culture Index, which surveyed 2,499 people online in 2022, highlights the prevalence of risky driving behaviors. The survey found that:
- 22.7% of respondents admitted to speeding.
- 17.3% engaged in aggressive and distracted driving.
- 15% participated in various distracted driving activities.
- 1.3% of respondents confessed to driving under the influence.
- 2.4% admitted to engaging in all the risky behaviors surveyed.
How to make safe driving resolutions
The most effective strategy to prevent bad driving habits is never to develop them. Arnie Kinsler, a behind-the-wheel instructor at AAA Driving School in Danbury, Connecticut, has recently observed an increase in poor driving practices. He emphasizes the importance of road rules to his students, typically aged between 16 and 22.
"People act as though speed limits and stop signs are suggestions," Kinsler said. "I've seen people eating full meals while driving 65 miles per hour."
He advises his young students to adhere strictly to traffic rules, regardless of impatient drivers. He also stresses that driving at the speed limit enhances safety for everyone.
For experienced drivers who might have become complacent, Kinsler encourages maintaining vigilance and avoiding risky behaviors, such as speeding up at yellow lights. AAA offers a Defensive Driving Course for those seeking to refresh their driving skills.
Common risky driving behaviors drivers should avoid
One of the most important safe driving resolutions is avoiding distractions. Distracted driving is a widespread issue, with over half of AAA survey participants admitting to it. Texting is especially risky as it presents a 'triple threat,' diverting a driver's eyes, hands, and focus away from driving. One particularly hazardous trend among young drivers is recording videos while driving for social media, which significantly detracts from road awareness and vehicle control.
To address this, Barbara Ward, a seasoned traffic safety expert at AAA Northeast, advises using the 'do not disturb' feature on phones and keeping them out of reach while driving.
Impaired driving involves operating a vehicle after consuming alcohol, marijuana, or other substances that cause impairment. This not only leads to severe legal consequences but also endangers the driver, passengers, and others on the road. To prevent this, the solution is straightforward: avoid it entirely. Plan ahead by designating a sober driver or opt for a taxi or ridesharing service such as Uber or Lyft.
Drowsy driving poses a similar threat to safety as impaired driving. Surprisingly, 18% of survey respondents admitted to driving while fatigued in the last month.
To combat drowsy driving, AAA advises taking breaks every two hours or every 100 miles. Signs of fatigue include struggling to stay awake, difficulty focusing, or not remembering recent miles driven. This indicates that it's time to stop. If these symptoms arise, it's crucial to pull over and let someone else drive.
Get legal help if you were injured in a crash in greater San Antonio
While making safe driving resolutions can help protect you, your passengers, and other road users, you can't always predict the actions of other drivers. You could be rear-ended while stopped at a traffic light or broadsided by a driver who fails to yield the right-of-way. That's why the San Antonio legal team at The Herrera Law Firm fights to hold negligent drivers accountable and get justice for crash victims.
If you or a loved one was injured in a crash in the greater San Antonio area, contact us online or call us for a free legal consultation. We'll listen to what happened and review your potential options for seeking compensation. Plus, we don't charge any upfront or hidden fees for our services because we work on a contingency fee basis. That means that you pay no fees unless we win your case.