No one really wants to make a mistake. Mistakes sometimes happen from a lack of knowledge, skill, or perhaps carelessness. With that being said, let’s take a look at three common mistakes drivers make on the roads. It’s tough to put these three in any order, or to only choose three as there are many mistakes drivers make on a regular basis.
One of the most common mistake drivers make is following too closely or tailgating. Since the most common type of collision in North America is a rear crash, many of those crashes could have been avoided if drivers made a slight change to their driving habits. The minimum safe following distance in the city on dry roads is 2 seconds?
This means the front of your vehicle is 2 seconds behind the vehicle ahead of you. This will give you enough time to see brake lights, time to get your foot from the gas to the brake and then time to actually stop your vehicle. It’s measured in time is because it takes time to perceive and react before you actually brake. That time doesn’t change whether you’re doing 30 km/h, 40 km/h or 50 km/h. The space looks different, but it’s still 2 seconds.
To know if you have enough space between your vehicle and the vehicle ahead of you, once the back of the vehicle ahead of passes a fixed object, begin to count in seconds; one thousand one, one thousand two. Stop counting when the front of your vehicle reaches that same object. That space should be at least 2 seconds, but more if the road conditions are poor.
Another common mistake drivers make is distracted driving, but you knew that. We all seem to have busy lives. Believe me: things can wait. Whatever distracts you, remove it, control it, or ignore it. This will allow you to stay focused on your driving. This includes passengers, food and music, and your cell phone. Turn your phone off, put it out of reach, or give it to a passenger to use while you drive. Challenge yourself to be bigger than what’s distracting you. It’s a mind over matter thing.
The last of this top three list is speeding. In most cases, those who speed feel their speeding will make a difference with their arrival time to where ever they’re going. Umm, not so much. Speeders need to realize they are often speeding up to a red light, a stop sign or slower traffic they have to brake for anyway. So why bother speeding? It wastes fuel, creates more brake wear and creates a more stressful drive, not to mention a higher risk of crashing through loss of control.
Ever wonder exactly how much time you save by speeding? Tony Silveira from Denison University did and ran the numbers.
To travel 10 miles at 55 mph takes .181818 hours or 10 minutes 55 seconds.
To travel the same 10 miles at 65 mph takes .153846 or 9 minutes 14 seconds.
To travel the same 10 miles at 75 mph takes .142847 or 8 minutes 34 seconds.
So if you travel the same 10 miles at 75 mph instead of 55 mph, you save a whopping 2 minutes 55 seconds while risking accidents, injuries, and more.
Those are only 3 of the top driving errors. Do you commit any of them? Is it because of lack of knowledge, skill, or carelessness? Only you will know. But since you now know it’s time to fix those mistakes to become a safer driver before you or someone else gets hurt or worse.