Would you pass your test if you retook it today? Back in 2009 Kia Motors UK conducted an experiment. In a bid to raise awareness of driving standards they challenged experienced drivers to retake their driving tests to see how they would fare. Only 50% of them passed.
We might occasionally find ourselves falling prey to the occasional poor driving habit – but are we aware of just how many bad habits we’ve managed to acquire since we first passed our tests?
In our own bid to raise awareness of driving standards, here at WeBuyAnyDamagedCar we’ve put together a list of 7 of the very worst driving habits to fall into. So take note – how many of them are you guilty of?
Speeding is the most common bad driving habit that people get into – and we’re pretty sure that drivers that haven’t gone over the speed limit at some point in their driving lives are in the minority.
The penalties for speeding vary greatly. If you’re caught, you’ll normally receive 3 points on your licence and a £60 fine, or you could face a court summons – and if you’re caught speeding in excess of 45% of the speed limit, you could risk an instant driving ban, which could last up to 120 days.
But speeding might not be intentional in all cases… We’re not quite sure how they managed it, but according to the Think Road Safety Annual Survey 2008, 43% of motorists couldn’t identify the national speed limit sign when they were shown it.
2. Not signalling
You probably won’t have noticed yourself doing this one at all. Failing to indicate seems to creep up on us slowly over the years. The longer it is that a driver has been on the roads, the more they seem to think that other motorists know instinctively where they’re going, and which turns they’re going to make.
Unfortunately this isn’t the case.
3. Texting, calling or changing music
This bad driving habit is particularly prevalent. If you take a look at other motorists while you’re driving you’ll probably come across it – unless, of course, you’re too busy texting to notice…
According to the National Safety Council – an American nonprofit organisation dedicated to protecting and promoting health – an astounding 1.4 million car accidents happen each and every year in America because of motorists using their phones while driving.
4. Driving one-handed
You might not know it, but the 10 and 2 hand position that you probably learnt to pass your test with is actually no longer recommended. The reason? Airbags.
The 9 and 3 position is actually the best position to avoid any airbag-related injuries, and driving with one hand firmly on ’12’ could be very nasty if you get involved in an accident.
Airbags can move at speeds of up to 200mph if they’re activated, and having a hand positioned in front of your face could cause serious damage to both your hand… and your face.
We won’t even talk about steering with your knees.
5. Not checking mirrors and blind spots
This is especially common in drivers who’ve been driving the same vehicle for a number of years. When motorists get comfortable in a car they think they know how to compensate for the blind spots.
They very rarely do. In fact, research conducted by Motorcycle Accident in Depth Study showed that 37% of all accidents involving motorcycles in Europe are due to drivers failing to check their mirrors.
Tailgating is another bad habit that’s all too common. Whether drivers realise it or not, tailgating a vehicle can be an intimidating experience for the driver in front – and if they’re paying more attention to the motorist right up against their rear bumper than they are to the road in front, they’re more likely to be distracted from oncoming hazards.
7. Getting angry
This one’s an interesting one, because it usually stems from noticing the above 6 bad habits in other drivers while failing to notice them in ourselves.
You see a driving pulling out without indicating. You’re being tailgated. You see someone texting behind the wheel. What’s your reaction? You get angry. Not only have they put you in danger, they’ve also put themselves in danger by failing to perform basic road safety precautions.
It’s easy to get a bit hot under the collar, but it’s worth taking a few moments to think about how many motorists you might have angered while you’ve been at the wheel.