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Driving is a huge responsibility, one that shouldn’t be taken lightly.
You have not only your life on the line whenever you’re behind the wheel but also those of other drivers and pedestrians in your vicinity.
Unfortunately, there are many people out there who think they’re safe drivers when, in reality, they’re actually quite dangerous.
If you’ve been feeling like something’s off while driving or if you’ve had multiple close calls, it may be time to take some extra precautionary measures or even reconsider your skillset altogether, starting with looking out for these 19 red flags signifying that you may just be a bad driver.
#1. You Can’t Maintain a Steady Speed
Are you or another driving constantly pressing the gas then stepping off, only to press the gas again?
This is a telltale sign of a bad driver.
Keeping a steady speed not only helps with fuel economy, but it also helps to avoid passengers from getting sick from the constant speed up, slow down routine.
#2. You Use Your Phone While Driving
It is no secret that using a cell phone while driving can be incredibly dangerous. Research has shown that engaging in phone-related activities behind the wheel significantly distracts drivers from the road, impairs their reaction time, and increases the likelihood of accidents.
Not only does it divert your attention, but it also heightens the chances of a collision, putting your life at risk and the lives of others sharing the road with you.
#3. You Always Get Lost
Getting lost can happen to anyone, but when it becomes common while driving, it could mean you lack the necessary skills to navigate the roads confidently.
Being a bad driver isn’t just about steering the wheel, it’s also about being able to read road signs, follow directions, and adjust to changes in your environment.
When you frequently lose your bearings, not only do you waste time and cause inconvenience to your passengers, but you also put yourself and others in danger.
#4. Everyone is Flying Past You
When we think of bad drivers, we typically think of people speeding or weaving in and out of traffic.
But slow drivers can be bad as well, assuming you are not keeping up with the flow of traffic, you are putting yourself at risk.
While it might feel safe to drive slowly, it can be hazardous.
Most drivers believe others are going the speed limit or faster.
If you drive significantly slower, they may not be prepared and approach you too quickly, causing an accident.
#5. Accident Is Your Middle Name
When it comes to driving, safety should always be the top priority.
Unfortunately, some individuals are more likely to get into accidents than others.
If “Accident” is your middle name, it clearly indicates that you may not be the best driver on the road.
While accidents happen, if they are a regular occurrence, it’s time to take a step back and evaluate your driving skills.
#6. You Drive Tired
Driving while tired is a huge risk that many drivers take without realizing how dangerous it can be.
Falling asleep at the wheel is one of the leading causes of fatal accidents, and even just being overly tired can reduce a driver’s reaction time and decision-making abilities.
Unfortunately, some drivers don’t see the warning signs of fatigue and may continue to drive despite feeling sleepy or tired.
#7. You Don’t Follow The Rules of The Road
The rules of the road are put in place to ensure the safety of all drivers.
So, when a driver refuses to follow these rules, their actions can potentially harm others.
For instance, if a driver skips a red light or runs a stop sign, they have not only broken the law but also seriously threatened the well-being of themselves and others.
Choosing to disobey traffic laws clearly indicates a lousy driver, as they disregard the hazardous consequences of their actions.
#8. You Never Check Your Tire Pressure
Some may argue that checking your tire pressure isn’t a sign of a bad driver, but it is.
When you drive with a low pressure, you are more likely to get a flat tire.
This could create an accident on the highway if you are unable to control your vehicle after the tire blows out.
#9. You Drive Under The Influence
When an individual decides to get behind the wheel while intoxicated, they willingly endanger themselves and others.
Alcohol impairs a person’s ability to make sound judgments and slows their reaction time, making it more difficult to avoid accidents.
Driving under the influence is irresponsible and selfish behavior with severe and deadly consequences.
#10. You Floor The Gas and Slam The Brakes
Accelerating quickly and slamming on the brakes may seem like an exciting way to drive, but this driving style puts unnecessary stress on your vehicle.
Sudden acceleration can cause other drivers to panic and make dangerous maneuvers to avoid a collision, while sudden braking can cause accidents and even whiplash for those in the car.
On top of all this, you are not saving money on gas by driving this way.
#11. You Swerve Between Lanes in Traffic
Driving requires focus, skill, and above all else, safety.
When driving, it’s important to be mindful of our movements and stay within our lanes to ensure everyone on the road stays safe.
However, some drivers have a habit of swerving between lanes without any warning or reasoning, most times at a high rate of speed.
Constantly changing lanes can startle other drivers, increasing the risk of accidents on the road.
#12. Passengers Are Scared to Ride With You
Driving is a privilege that comes with great responsibility.
When you get behind the wheel, you are responsible for your own life and the lives of other passengers.
If people are scared to ride with you, it might be a sign that you are a bad driver.
As much as we like to think that our driving skills are impeccable, it is important to recognize that everyone has weaknesses.
If you are frequently getting honked at or cut off by other drivers, it might be time to reassess your driving habits.
Remember, it only takes one error in judgment to cause a serious accident.
#13. Never Use Your Turn Signal
It’s no secret that using your turn signal while driving is crucial to keeping everyone on the road safe.
But what about those drivers who never seem to use it?
Whether switching lanes without warning or making abrupt turns without signaling, neglecting to use your turn signal can be dangerous for yourself and others on the road.
Not only does it make it more difficult for other drivers to anticipate your next move, but it can also cause confusion and potential accidents.
#14. You Can’t Park in One Parking Space
One of the most annoying things is driving through a parking lot looking for a spot, only to discover an open one is not usable because of poor parking skills.
The other car is over the white line enough that it’s too tight of a squeeze to fit.
Of course, some people will park anyway, to make it more challenging for the other person to get into their vehicle.
#15. Tailgating All The Time
Tailgating is a dangerous and all too common driving behavior, indicating you are following the car in front of you too closely.
Not only can this bad habit lead to accidents, but it can also result in various legal issues.
Remember, following too closely puts you at risk and puts others around you in danger.
#16. You Get Many Tickets
Getting many tickets may not necessarily mean you are a terrible driver, but it certainly doesn’t bode well for your driving record.
Accumulating numerous traffic violations can strongly indicate reckless driving behavior or a lack of attentiveness behind the wheel.
It’s easy to overlook a speed limit sign or run a red light when you’re distracted, but it’s time to take a hard look at your driving habits when this behavior becomes a regular occurrence.
Excessive tickets can result in hefty fines and increased insurance rates and put your safety and others at risk.
#17. Road Rage
Road rage is one of the leading causes of traffic collisions and fatalities, so it’s important to be mindful of how you’re driving.
It can often result in dangerous behaviors such as excessive speeding, tailgating, unsafe lane changes, honking horns, etc.
It’s best to remain calm while on the roads and take a deep breath if your stress levels rise.
#18. You Can’t Maintain a Lane
If you’ve ever seen someone driving erratically, swerving in and out of their lane and straddling the line between two, that’s a dead giveaway that they might be an inexperienced driver.
This could mean anything from lack of confidence to simply not paying attention; either way, it’s a sign of an inexperienced driver that you should look out for.
It’s important to keep your car where it belongs, inside the lines!
#19. No Spatial Awareness
It’s not just the lane lines that you should be aware of, but also your surroundings.
If the driver isn’t paying attention to other cars around them and is constantly cutting people off or getting too close, then it might be a sign of inexperience or bad driving habits.
Good drivers always keep their eyes on the road and are aware of their surroundings.
It’s important to pay attention to other drivers and give them enough space on the road.
You should also take note of any sudden lane changes or turns that seem out of place in order to avoid potential collisions with inexperienced drivers.
In short, be alert and mindful of your surroundings when driving!
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I have over 15 years experience in the financial services industry and 20 years investing in the stock market. I have both my undergrad and graduate degrees in Finance, and am FINRA Series 65 licensed and have a Certificate in Financial Planning.
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