Shift Gears in 2024 and Curb These Bad Driving Habits
Here's what Ohio drivers can do to stay safe and prevent car accidents.
Many people make resolutions this time of year to do something new. However, traffic safety experts have a suggestion – get rid of bad driving habits that often result in serious car accidents.
"Whether it's texting while driving, speeding, ignoring stop signs or failing to use turn signals, everyone has developed bad driving habits," says the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. "The problem is how to get rid of them."
What are common bad driving habits?
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety recently released the results of its 2022 traffic safety study. Known as the "2022 Traffic Safety Culture Index," this annual study involves obtaining responses from 2,500 anonymous drivers nationwide about which driving habits they think are the most dangerous, as well as which dangerous driving habits they have personally engaged in within the past 30 days.
Some of the most common – and most dangerous – bad driving habits drivers admitted to personally doing within the last month in 2022 included:
- Failing to stop for a red light – 8 percent.
- Excessive speeding – 7 percent.
- Drowsy driving – 9 percent.
- Distracted driving, including texting while driving – 15 percent.
- Drunk driving –3 percent.
Do drivers in Ohio have similar dangerous driving habits?
Many of the same bad driving habits that exist around the country can be found in Ohio as well. According to car accident data compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Ohio Highway Patrol, some of the most dangerous driving habits that result in serious or fatal car accidents in Ohio include:
- Driving under the influence of alcohol – In 2021, Ohio set a record for drunk-driving fatalities (531). That figure is the highest single-year drunk driving death toll in Ohio in at least a decade.
- Speeding-related car accident fatalities – Ohio recorded its second-highest death toll in 2021 in the past 10 years for car accidents caused by speeding drivers. A total of 341 people died that year in speed-related car crashes.
- Not wearing a seatbelt – 2021 was another record-setting year in Ohio for car accident deaths. This time, the record was set by drivers or passengers who died in collisions while not wearing their seatbelts. A total of 440 unrestrained people died in car crashes in Ohio in 2021.
What can drivers do to make roads safer?
There are many simple but important steps people can take to prevent serious car accidents in Ohio. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, such steps include:
- Don't use cellphones – Set your cellphone to "do not disturb" while driving. That way, you won't be tempted to text and drive.
- Don't drive drunk – If you plan to drink alcohol, have a plan before you go out. Have a designated driver, call a rideshare service, or take public transportation home.
- Take a break – If you're driving long distances, especially at night, take a break so you don't fall asleep at the wheel.
- Follow traffic laws – Stop at all stop signs and red lights, yield to pedestrians and cyclists, etc.
- Don't drive fast – Speed limits exist for a reason. Don't drive excessively fast.
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