There’s a lot of bad habits that we as drivers need to correct in 2017. It doesn’t matter if you’ve had a license for 20 years or 20 days, you’re probably guilty of at least one faulty driving behavior, whether it’s going too fast, not using your turn signal or attempting to eat a bean burrito while operating a vehicle. (Bean there, done that.) As we look to make the new year a safer and happier one for drivers and passengers everywhere, let’s focus on fixing some of the worst behind-the-wheel habits. Here are Aceable’s top-10 new year’s resolutions for drivers. Are you guilty of any of these annoying behaviors?
1. Use Your Turn Signal
No one wants to get stuck behind the driver attempting to turn left in rush-hour traffic, but there’s an easy fix for that! Use your turn signal, friends. Let the folks behind you know that you’re going to turn left so that we have time to switch lanes and can avoid coming to a standstill for a solid 37 seconds. None of this braking and then switching on the signal. That’s helpful to no one. Look out for other humans and be courteous when turning. It’s that simple.
2. Don’t Rubberneck
If you see an RV pulled over on the highway while a cop interrogates the driver, I promise it’s not Walter White and Hank Schrader. You don’t need to drive at 5 mph and crane your neck out the window to get a good look at the action. This isn’t an AMC drama — it’s the interstate — and you’re causing a traffic jam. Go the speed limit, keep moving forward and let the gentleman in the RV collect his speeding ticket.
3. Lose the Road Rage
Despite our best efforts, most of us are going to make mistakes on the road. If someone slams on the brakes in front of you, accidentally cuts you off in traffic or forgets to use their turn signal on occasion, don’t be a jerk to them. Yelling profanities out the window or flipping the bird isn’t going to correct the mistake your fellow traveler has made. We could all benefit from being a little kinder to one another out there. Warm and fuzzy vibes only.
4. Check Your Blind Spots
If I had a dime for the number of times a minivan starting moving into my lane, blissfully unaware of my presence … tsk, tsk. You’ve got to check your blind spots, folks. You’ve got to make sure there’s not an itty-bitty battery-powered car lurking behind your massive Escalade. Remember your drivers ed training. Look out for the little guys in 2017, pretty please.
5. Ignore That Text Message
Even if you don’t text while you drive, you might get distracted every once in a while by that notification lighting up your phone in the passenger seat. Do yourself a favor and ignore the urge to glance down and see who’s messaging you. It’s probably just Jason and you don’t even like Jason. He uses “you’re and “your” interchangeably. Certainly not worth getting into a car crash over.
6. Just Park Better
Remember in kindergarten when your teacher taught you to color inside the lines? It’s the same principle with parking. The lines are there for a reason. You park in between them. You don’t let your back right wheel cross over the line and take up the only other free parking space in the lot. It’s okay if you have to back up and try again if you miss the lines the first time. Not all of us graduated kindergarten with honors, apparently.
7. Let People In
Traffic happens. And when it does, people merging onto the interstate need to catch a break. Leave space and take turns. Sure, you’re grouchy and tired and annoyed by the traffic, but so is everyone else. Be a good person and share the road.
8. Go The Speed Limit
We all know that speeding is dangerous. Going too slow, however, can be torturous for drivers behind you, especially if there’s no passing lane. Know the speed limit, and if it’s 55 mph don’t drive 45 mph. Easy enough. If there’s really an issue with your car that requires you to drive slowly, put on your hazard lights and pull over to call for help. Maybe one of the nice people that you’ve been holding up will help you out.
9. Look Before You Turn
Folks, please don’t pull out right in front of my car and force me to slam on the brakes. This is how accidents happen. Look both ways before you turn onto a street and ensure you have enough time to make the turn. Let’s all be better about this in 2017.
10. Stay In Your Lane
So you have to turn right but you’re in the center lane, not the turning lane? Sorry, but you can’t just butt in front of all the cars in the proper lane to make your turn. Now you’re holding up traffic in two lanes and everyone hates you. You also can’t turn right from the center lane and cut other cars off. Stay put and use your GPS to find another route.
Need to correct some of these bad driving habits in 2017? Aceable offers court-approved defensive driving via mobile app! And psst … it can help you get a car insurance discount, too!