Bad Driving Habits To Look Out For

Bad Driving Habits To Look Out For

When it comes to being an experienced driver, various habits develop over time, bad or good. We at Pacific Driver Education are here to talk about what habits to look out for in any driver that doesn't even realize what actions could lead to potential dangers on the road. Contact us today or visit our website to learn more about the classes we offer for excellent driving.

Image of the lights on the back of a car

No Turn Signals

One of the most common bad habits drivers develop is not using their turn signals. It may not seem like a big deal, but not using your turn signal is illegal in many states. Not to mention, it's also hazardous. Without giving other drivers an indication of what you're doing, they could easily be caught off guard and get into an accident.

Image of cars that have gone off the road in a snow storm

Taking risks

Many drivers develop a sense of invincibility when behind the wheel. Unfortunately, this often leads them to take unnecessary risks, such as speeding, running red lights, or texting while driving. Not only is this behavior illegal, but it's also hazardous and puts yourself and others at risk of an accident.

A topic that needs to be addressed more often is the dangers of hasty driving while yielding. Whether by a sign or a left turn on the green, the impulse to turn quickly without much thought can spell disaster for drivers. This is a habit that drivers must be more aware of and take their time with instead of rushing through the motions.

Image of a man driving and drinking from a flask

Driving Under the Influence

This is perhaps the most dangerous thing you can do while behind the wheel. Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol impairs your judgment, reflexes, and coordination. It's also against the law in all 50 states. If you're caught driving under the influence, you could face severe penalties, including jail time.

Image of a checking his phone in his car

Checking Your Phone

It's no secret that distracted driving is one of the leading causes of accidents. And with the rise of smartphones, it's only getting worse. Drivers constantly check their phones while behind the wheel, whether sending a text, checking Facebook, or taking a phone call. This takes your attention away from the road and can lead to serious accidents. If you must use your phone while driving, pull over to a safe location first.

This even pertains to calls. If you start allowing any calls as a reasonable exception, you will likely continue the pattern and put yourself at risk. If it can wait, don't answer the phone.

Image of a woman playing with the radio in her car

Fidgeting with the Radio

Fidgeting with the radio is another familiar distraction driver's face. Whether changing the station or adjusting the volume, taking your eyes off the road for even a second can be dangerous. If you must change the radio before driving or pull over to a safe location first. It's not just our radio; music players serve as the perfect distraction. If you change songs a lot, that grows into divided attention while driving.

A good "playlist refresh" at home can do wonders for not wanting to change music all the time. Ask friends and family for recommendations. Streaming services have also gotten a lot better at recommending a good mix of favorites and new songs that you will likely find interesting while driving without excessively changing songs.

Image of a speedometer glowing read as the speed increases


We've all been guilty of speeding at one point or another. But what many drivers don't realize is how dangerous it is. Speeding gives you less time to react to things on the road and can lead to devastating accidents. It's also against the law in most states, so you could get pulled over and fined if you're caught.

While it may be tempting to speed when you're running late or in a hurry, it's not worth the risk. Slow down and arrive alive.

Image of a traffic collision where one car rear-ended another,


Another bad driving habit is tailgating. This is when you drive too close to the car in front of you, leaving no room for error. If the vehicle in front of you has to brake suddenly, you could easily rear-end them and cause a severe accident. Tailgating is not only dangerous, but it's also rude and inconsiderate.

If you realize that you've possibly caused recent gestures of tailgating, recognizing the potential dangers of it is already a great step to take. Remember that cars in front of you can always stop suddenly, creating the risk of terrible accidents. So make it a great habit to drive safely and reasonably far from the vehicle in front of you.

Image of a person honking the horn of his car

Petty Driving

Getting cut off is never fun. But escalating the situation by honking, flipping off the other driver, or speeding up to get in front of them will only make things worse. Not to mention, it's also hazardous. So if someone cuts you off, resist the urge to retaliate. It's not worth risking an accident over something so minor, especially with what genuine road rage tends to escalate towards.

Image of an angry man screaming in his car

Angry Driving

We've all been there before. You're stuck in traffic and running late for an important meeting. The frustration builds until you're seething with anger. But here's the thing: driving when angry or emotional is never a good idea. It can impair your judgment and lead to dangerous decision-making on the road. If you are angry while driving, pull over to a safe location and take a few deep breaths until you calm down. If time permits, grabbing a soft drink or snack at a gas station can serve as the perfect calming solution.

Bad driving habits can be hard to break. If you need help improving your driving skills or learning defensive driving techniques, sign up for one of Pacific Driver Education online courses today.

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