Common Mistakes Drivers Make
Driver mistakes are a common occurrence that lead to anywhere from 90-99% of all car accidents. Even the smallest of mistakes can cause a serious accident. Which is why it’s essential that you take steps to limit the errors you make while driving. The following takes a closer look at 10 of the more common mistakes that drivers can make when operating any vehicle.
1. Putting on Your Brakes Too Frequently
Among the most common mistakes that drivers make is pressing down on the brakes too often. In fact, some drivers make the mistake of keeping their right foot on the gas and their left foot on the brake. While convenient, using both feet when driving increases the likelihood that you will put your foot on the brake too often, which will place more wear and tear on the brakes while also making it more likely that another driver will run into you because of your stop-and-start driving. If you always keep your foot on the brake, it’s more difficult for drivers behind you to determine when you’re braking for a reason.
2. Not Using Your Turn Signals
Whenever you want to change lanes or make a turn, it’s essential that you switch on your turn signals, which alerts other drivers that you’ll be moving over to another lane or turning. Without this signal, other drivers could be unaware of the action you’re about to take until you do so, which means that they won’t have much time to react.
Turning on your signals allows drivers behind you and in other lanes to react accordingly. It’s especially important that you avoid making this mistake when switching lanes. A driver in another lane could be driving at a relatively high speed with no knowledge that you’re about to change lanes. Even if the vehicle seems far enough behind, having your turn signals on reduces the chances of an accident.
3. Exhibiting Road Rage
It’s also very important that you keep your temper in check while driving. Even though other drivers can do things that make you angry, letting your temper get out of control can lead to serious consequences. It’s possible that a driver who cut you off didn’t know that your vehicle was close by.
Other drivers making mistakes intentionally or unintentionally shouldn’t cause you to become angry and retaliate. If you make a gesture or yell at the driver, they could behave poorly as well, which only serves to escalate the situation. In the event that another driver is driving strangely, you can call 911 and provide an officer with the vehicle’s information.
4. Turning in the Incorrect Lane
Drivers tend to make the mistake of turning into the wrong lane when making a right or left turn. Once you make a turn, it’s important that you remain in the lane you were already in. Switching lanes while turning is against the law and will increase the risk of being in an accident. Once you’ve fully made the turn and your indicator light has turned off, you can switch the light on again to move into the other lane.
5. Not Checking Blind Spots
Because of how rear-view and side mirrors are positioned on a vehicle, there will always be blind spots that you will be unable to see when looking in these mirrors. Instead, it’s important that you take a brief look over your shoulder and make sure to check your vehicle’s blind spots before changing lanes or turning. Keep in mind that larger vehicles tend to have larger blind spots.
6. Driving at a Slow Speed
If you’re in the left passing lane on a highway, never drive below the speed limit unless absolutely necessary. This lane is specifically designed to accommodate speedy drivers. By driving too slowly in this lane, it’s possible that drivers behind you will attempt to go into the right lane to pass you, which leads to an unsafe situation.
7. Stopping Too Quickly
The most common mistake involves the driver slamming on the brakes or stopping too quickly even if there’s no reason to do so. If other drivers are close by, there’s a good chance that they could crash into you because of this action. To that end, make sure that you always stop slowly when coming to a stop sign or red light.
8. Increasing Speed Through a Light
It’s common for drivers to view a yellow light as being an indicator that they should speed up in order to get through the light before it turns red. However, this light means that you should slow down. Even if you think you might be able to get through the light before it turns red, you should only attempt to do so if you don’t need to speed up to make the light.
9. Using the Phone
Modern smartphones have made talking on the phone while driving significantly easier than it once was. While you should never text or talk while holding a phone, it’s also highly recommended that you limit how often you speak to someone in hands-free mode. Even though both hands will still be on the wheel, you could easily become distracted by your conversation. If you become distracted for just a second or two, the risk of being in an accident increases substantially.
10. Making Mistakes at Four-Way Stop
Many drivers don’t understand how to act when they arrive at a four-way stop that doesn’t use a traffic light. If you want to avoid making the same mistake, keep in mind that the driver who arrives first at the intersection will have the right-of-way. In the event that two cars come to a stop at the same moment and are facing one another, the car that’s turning left should yield to the other car. If two cars come to a stop at the same moment and are positioned perpendicular to one another, the car on the right will have the right-of-way.
Driving Tips and Suggestions
If you want to avoid making the mistakes mentioned above, simply being mindful of what these mistakes are should help you keep them at a minimum in the future. There are also some additional driving tips that should help you reduce your mistakes and lessen the possibility of being involved in a car accident. First, make sure that you always wear your seat belt. Even if you’re just driving to the local convenience store that’s only a few minutes away, wearing a seat belt is essential if you want to protect yourself from severe injuries in the event of an accident.
Make sure that you never drive soon after drinking alcohol. Impaired driving is among the most common causes of death in car accidents throughout the U.S., which is why you should use some other method to get home. You could have a friend act as a designated driver or call an Uber.
It’s also very important that you adhere to the speed limit at all times. While many drivers go around 5-10 miles above the speed limit, these limits are posted for a reason. Driving faster than the speed limit increases the likelihood that you’ll be involved in an accident. Even driving a few miles above the speed limit could cause you to be pulled over and fined.
Finally, try to avoid being distracted while driving. If you’re fatigued or tired, your reaction times will be significantly slower. Being tired while driving also makes it more likely that you will be distracted long enough for an accident to occur. The most common distraction involves using the cell phone while driving. The majority of states have laws against speaking on a phone while driving. If you’ve received a call that needs to be returned, wait until you can find a convenience store or rest area to pull into.
What to Do When a Mistake is Made
If you were recently involved in a car accident and believe that another driver made a mistake, it’s highly recommended that you seek legal representation if you were injured in the accident. Personal injury cases are relatively straightforward as long as fault can be proven. The point of a California personal injury case is to seek a certain amount of compensation from the other driver’s insurance provider or the driver themselves.
Keep in mind that any personal injury case begins with an accident investigation, which is when any evidence of fault will be gathered to be used once the case goes forward. The amount of compensation you could receive from a California personal injury case depends on the severity of your injuries as well as the amount of fault that each driver has.
There are many different driver mistakes that can be made when operating a vehicle. While it may be difficult to avoid making some of the more common mistakes, the precautions and tips mentioned above should help you limit the errors you make. In time, you will likely improve as a driver.
Our expert California personal injury lawyers are ready to defend you in your accident, injury, or negligence case.
Contact us for a FREE evaluation. No win, no fee: you pay us only when we win your case.
Use this form to explain your situation, or call us at (888) 259-1113; we’re here for you 24/7.