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3 common traffic habits that can contribute to a heightened crash risk

On Behalf of | Mar 18, 2024 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

The way that people behave in traffic has an immediate impact on their safety. Certain actions, like getting behind the wheel after drinking, increase collision risk. The average motorist is diligent about avoiding overt and flagrant regulatory infractions. They don’t drive while drunk or participate in drag racing on public streets.

Instead, they simply try to drive in a relatively safe and efficient manner to reach their destination as quickly as possible. The day-to-day habits that people develop after years of commuting might actually put them at elevated risk of a collision. For example, the three behaviors below have become more common in recent years and have a strong association with increased collision risk.

Consistent speeding

Quite a few people view the speed limit on a road as the lowest acceptable speed. However, the truth is that the speed limit should be the maximum rate of speed someone maintains. Many drivers make a habit of operating their vehicles somewhere between five and 10 miles over the posted limit. They may continue to do this even during times of heavy traffic or bad weather. Speed can diminish control over a vehicle and increase the severity of a crash if one occurs. Speeding has become such an issue that Connecticut has begun using cameras to catch those speeding and running red lights.

Inconsistent turn signal use

Using a turn signal is the simplest way of communicating with others in traffic. While it only takes a fraction of a second to start and stop a turn signal, many drivers don’t bother to indicate their intentions to others. They merge into other lanes of traffic or turn at intersections without using a signal first. When others nearby don’t know that someone plans to turn or merge, they cannot adjust their own behavior for optimal safety.

Getting too close to other vehicles

Tailgating or following another vehicle too closely is a dangerous practice. Those who regularly speed or who drive aggressively may be more likely than others to frequently tailgate in traffic. Someone too close to another vehicle may not be able to stop quickly enough to prevent a crash. Tailgating can be particularly dangerous in situations where the vehicles involved are of significantly different sizes.

Drivers who are aware of factors that increase their motor vehicle collision risk may have an easier time reaching their destination safely. Identifying and correcting unsafe traffic habits can diminish someone’s chances of causing or otherwise being involved in a severe collision.

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