Tips to Overcome Bad Driving Habits in 2024

Driver holds soda in one hand and a sandwich in the other while trying to steer the wheel of a car, putting her at risk of a serious car accident.

During this time of year, many people are trying to maintain their New Year’s resolutions. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, one of the top priorities on everyone’s list should be actively contributing to preventing car accidents.

So, what’s the most effective way to enhance road safety? It begins with addressing and changing bad driving habits. AAA points out that bad habits, whether it’s texting while driving, speeding, disregarding stop signs, or neglecting to use turn signals, have become ingrained in many drivers. The challenge lies in breaking free from these habits.

To shed light on this issue, let’s explore some of the most common bad driving habits and examine whether they are a concern in Texas. Additionally, we’ll provide some valuable safe driving tips to help drivers change these habits. Our team of Houston car accident attorneys at Smith & Hassler is committed to promoting safer driving practices.

What are the most common dangerous driving habits?

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety recently released the “2022 Traffic Safety Culture Index.” Based on responses from 2,500 drivers in 2022, the report identifies some of the most common dangerous driving habits, including:

  • Distracted driving – 15 percent of the respondents said they drove distracted within the last 30 days, including texting while driving.
  • Drowsy driving – 9 percent had trouble keeping their eyes open while driving within the past month.
  • Not stopping at a red light – 8 percent of drivers surveyed stated they failed to stop for a red light at least once within the past 30 days.
  • Speeding – 7 percent drove 15 mph over the speed limit on an interstate or 10 mph over the speed limit in a residential area.
  • Aggressive driving – 3 percent of drivers described themselves as aggressive drivers.
  • Drunk driving – 3 percent admitted to driving under the influence of alcohol within the past 30 days.

How safe are drivers in Texas?

Many drivers in Texas have bad habits that often result in serious or fatal car accidents. In fact, according to accident data collected by the Texas Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 2021 was a record-setting year for three common bad driving habits.

  • Driving under the influence of alcohol – 1,906 people died in drunk driving accidents that year, the highest drunk driving death toll in the state in at least a decade.
  • Speeding – 1,568 deaths due to speeding, another decade-high record.
  • Not wearing a seatbelt – 1,172 deaths, the highest death toll in more than a decade.

Tips to be a safer driver in 2024

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety and our legal team have several suggestions for drivers who want to break bad driving habits this year, including:

  • Minimize distractions: Turn off your cell phone or switch it to “do not disturb” mode before you start driving. Distracted driving, especially due to texting or using a phone, significantly increases the risk of accidents.
  • Obey traffic signals: Make it a habit to come to a complete stop at all red lights and stop signs. Rolling through stop signs or running red lights can lead to dangerous collisions.
  • Plan ahead: If possible, leave a few minutes earlier when heading out so that you’re not in a rush to reach your destination. Rushing can lead to aggressive driving behaviors and reduced attention to road conditions.
  • Never drink and drive: Always have a plan before heading out for the evening, especially if you’ll be drinking. Designate a sober driver, use rideshare services like Uber or Lyft, or rely on public transportation to get home safely.
  • Take regular breaks: When driving long distances, make it a point to take breaks every two hours. This practice helps prevent fatigue and drowsy driving, reducing the risk of falling asleep at the wheel.
  • Avoid eating and drinking while driving: Eating or drinking behind the wheel can divert your attention from the road. It’s safer to consume food and beverages when your vehicle is parked.
  • Drive defensively: Adopt a defensive driving approach, which means being prepared for unexpected situations while driving. Always anticipate that other drivers may make mistakes, and maintain a safe following distance to give yourself time to react to sudden changes in traffic.

If you’ve been injured in an accident, tell them you mean business

Don’t let anyone push you around if you or a loved one has been injured by a negligent driver. Get a Houston car accident lawyer who means business. Get Smith & Hassler. Our dedicated legal team has the knowledge, skills, and experience you need to demand justice after your car crash.

Take command of your case right from the start. Contact us and schedule a free case evaluation with a Houston car accident attorney focused on winning your case. We have four offices conveniently located throughout Texas, including three offices in Houston. In addition, our lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. That means you only have to pay us if we secure a financial settlement or verdict for your car accident injury.