Driving in the US is arguably much easier than it is in other countries, with American drivers finding the small roads and manual transmissions in regions like Europe rather daunting. However, despite the open roads of the US and the convenient vehicles we drive, many people still engage in unsafe driving behaviors which needlessly endanger themselves and others. Here are a few of the more common offenses!

Speeding

Unsurprisingly, speeding is the biggest unsafe driving behavior in the US, as it is in many countries around the globe. Although going a few mph over the speed limit isn’t that uncommon, it could be the difference between life and death if you’re not careful. Good brakes and reaction times only go so far!

Not using a seatbelt

Over 70,000 Americans were fined for not wearing a seatbelt in 2009, something which is pointlessly negligent. It doesn’t inconvenience you to wear one, and it could save your life in a crash. Always wear a seatbelt!

Failing to obey traffic control devices

Whether on purpose or by accident, it’s not uncommon to see people running red lights and stop signs, as well as ignoring other common road signs and devices. It’s reckless and could easily cause a crash, so why bother?

Following closely

Following too close to a vehicle in front of you is needlessly dangerous, especially if you’re driving a large truck which could cause some serious damage. If you wish to overtake a vehicle which is driving too slowly, then do it when it is safe.

Cutting people off

Technically called an “improper lane change”, cutting someone offer refers to changing lanes when there isn’t a clear and open path ahead to do so. If you realize you’re in the wrong lane at the last minute, it’s much safer to carry on straight ahead and turn around when you get the chance. There’s no point in cutting someone off and putting them/yourself in danger for the sake of a few minutes of time.

Not yielding/giving right of way

Failing to yield to other traffic at intersections is a serious and dangerous offense. Traffic and pedestrians which have right of way should be allowed to travel before your own vehicle. Not yielding or giving other road users right of way (when they have it) could easily lead to collisions.

Reckless driving

Reckless driving can cover many different things, but it largely refers to things such as street racing, passing when visibility is limited, eluding a law enforcement official, and driving 25 mph (or more) over the speed limit. Reckless driving is a serious motoring offense which is needlessly dangerous to both yourself and other road users.

Distracted driving

Distracted driving refers to driving without your full care and attention. For example, you may be texting while driving, or speaking on your cell phone while holding it in your hand. Although hands-free phone systems now exist for vehicles, studies have shown that they make little difference in terms of concentration improvements – it’s the act of having a conversation with a person who is not present which is dangerous for your driving. Speaking, texting, or otherwise distracting yourself while driving could lead to lapses in concentration which may prove fatal one day.

The List of Most Common Unsafe Driving Behaviours in the US was last modified: by