Risky driving behavior is commonplace on Texas roads and a leading cause of car accidents. They include everything from seemingly minor distractions to outright aggressive driving. However, risky driving behavior isn't set in stone. With determination and the right approach, motorists in Dallas and throughout the Lone Star State can develop safer driving habits.
Motorists admit to bad driving habits
A 2022 survey by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety revealed over half of its respondents engaged in risky driving behaviors. The results were recently published in AAA's Traffic Safety Culture Index. The survey reveals that:
- 22.7% of respondents engaged in speeding.
- 17.3% engaged in distracted and aggressive driving.
- 15% engaged in all types of distracted driving.
- 1.3% engaged in impaired driving.
- 2.4% engaged in all types of risky driving behavior.
Why safer driving habits are possible
Driving instructor Arnie Kinsler has observed an alarming increase in bad driving habits. He encourages his students and other drivers to adhere to traffic rules. Gary Driscoll, another experienced instructor, believes that understanding the 'why' behind traffic rules is important for instilling good habits. He also highlights the critical role of being alert and aware at all times while driving.
The habits that many drivers routinely engage in significantly increase the risk of a serious or fatal crash. The statistics don't lie. According to 2021 crash data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:
- Distracted driving led to 3,522 traffic fatalities.
- Drunk driving led to 13,383 road deaths.
- Speeding led to 12,330 deaths.
- Drowsy driving led to 684 traffic fatalities.
How to develop safer driving habits
Here are some tips on how to address each of the risky driving behaviors identified in the AAA survey:
- Distracted driving: To avoid distracted driving, traffic safety specialist Barbara Ward suggests setting your phone to "do not disturb" and keeping it out of reach. You can also pull over somewhere safe if you need to use your cellphone or complete any other tasks that don't involve driving.
- Impaired driving: It's simple—don't get behind the wheel while impaired. Find a designated driver, use a rideshare or taxi, or consider spending the night at a relative or friend's house.
- Drowsy driving: Getting plenty of sleep is one of the best ways to prevent a drowsy driving accident. For long driving trips, AAA suggests taking a break every 100 miles or two hours so you can recharge.
- Speeding: Simply allowing yourself enough time to reach your destination is the best way to eliminate the need to exceed the speed limit.
- Aggressive driving: Aggressive driving is very dangerous. Avoid it as much as possible and use strategies to calm yourself down if you're feeling stressed. Also, avoid engaging with aggressive drivers, which can lead to road rage and, potentially, a serious crash.
Injured in a Dallas car accident? Our attorneys take winning seriously
While developing safer driving habits can reduce the risk of being involved in a crash, you never know who you'll encounter on Texas roads. If someone else's negligent actions injured you or a loved one, the Dallas car accident lawyers at The Marye Law Firm, P.C. can fight to hold them accountable.
Our law firm has a proven track record of maximizing settlements and verdicts for injured motorists in Dallas. Don't hesitate to reach out to us for a free consultation. We'll answer any questions you have and help you explore your potential legal options for seeking compensation.