Sitting behind the wheel of a 2,800-pound (plus) machine traveling at high speeds is not something to be taken lightly. Operating a motor vehicle is a big responsibility, the neglect of which can prove catastrophic. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, there were 33,244 fatal motor vehicle crashes in the United States in 2019— a staggering figure. Unfortunately, a large percentage of these accidents were caused by preventable behaviors exhibited by the responsible party. In light of this, we made a list of driving habits that prove to be the cause of many accidents year after year:

Turning Into the Far Lane

Although casualties do not typically follow accidents in this context, this poor driving habit certainly brings about costly repairs and avoidable injuries. When turning left from a single left-turn lane at a stoplight, the designated lane for the driver upon making the turn is the lane farthest left. Many drivers illegally cross lanes, striking vehicles turning right onto the same road at the same time. 

Fail to Signal

Turn signals were created for the purpose of informing other drivers where you intend to maneuver your vehicle. When changing lanes, or slowing down to make a turn, it is important to properly signal. Proper signaling gives surrounding drivers enough time to see and react to your turn or lane change. 

Tailgating

The National Highway Safety Administration estimates that 23 percent of all motor vehicle crashes are rear-ended collisions. It can be reasonably assumed that a good number of those collisions were caused by a driver following too closely, unable to react quickly enough to a sudden stop. 

Driving Distracted

The National Safety Council reports that phone use while driving leads to 390,000 each year. In the United States, one-fourth of all accidents are caused by texting specifically. Whether the driver be applying makeup, texting, eating, etc. performing those tasks while driving certainly isn’t worth the risk.

Not Wearing a Seatbelt

According to the NHTSA, of all the vehicle occupants killed in motor vehicle accidents in 2019, 47 percent of them were not wearing a seatbelt. Wearing a seatbelt is a simple measure of safety that greatly increases the chances of survival in a serious accident. When it comes to buckling up, the pros greatly outweigh the cons. 

Speeding

Speeding is a common temptation for most drivers. Sometimes it seems as if the limit is simply set too low. However, it can be incredibly dangerous. According to the NHTSA, speeding has been involved in approximately one-third of all motor vehicle fatalities over the past two decades. When experiencing poor weather or less than optimal road conditions, speeding greatly increases the likelihood of a collision. Though we may be in a rush, it is always better to manage our speed. 

Avoiding Vehicle Upkeep

A vehicle’s health plays a large role in keeping drivers and passengers safe. If the car’s brakes are bad, tires are worn, signal and headlights are dim or burned out, or any number of other things, this can be a danger while on the road. It is very important to make sure that your vehicle is in proper working order before you take to the streets. 

Stay Safe Out There

Whether in a shop or on the road, safety should always be a top priority. While we can’t control everyone’s driving behavior, we can certainly make sure their vehicles are in proper working order, prepared to handle the demands of every commute. Our downtown Salt Lake City car mechanics have years of experience between them addressing a wide variety of automotive issues large and small. With Master Muffler, you can be assured that your vehicle will leave our shop healthier and better equipped to keep you safe.