Published on: Wednesday, 15th November 2017 | Author: Kevin Thorpe
Weíre all guilty of bad driving habits from time to time, whether itís checking a text or ignoring a problem with the car for longer than we should. However, while these behaviours may be common, they can have dangerous consequences and put you and other drivers at risk of an accident. Itís also worth bearing in mind that some of these driving offences are illegal and can result in hefty fines or points on your licence. Read on to find out the seven deadly sins of driving and how many you are guilty of doing
1. Using your phone while driving
One of the most common sins people make while driving is using their phone. While it can be tempting to glance at a text or to answer a call, using your mobile while on the road can be a huge distraction and increase the chance of an accident happening. Itís also against the law to use a handheld device while driving.
To avoid putting yourself and others in danger, itís important to try and resist the urge to use your phone while behind the wheel or use a hands-free device to take calls. Even if you are in traffic or at a standstill, taking your eye off the road to look at your screen could cause a collision. In fact, mobile phones are such a concern that the minimum penalty for their use if you are stopped by the police is now £200 and 6 points on your licence whilst drivers who are new to the road could face losing their licence entirely.
2. Driving without a seat belt
While for most drivers putting a seat belt on is commonplace, it may come as a surprise to learn that many people still arenít buckling up before hitting the road. Studies show that teenagers in particular are more likely to not wear a seat belt, including both drivers and passengers, which can often have devastating repercussions.
Seat belts help to save countless lives every year, and not using one is a sure fire way to put yourself at risk of injury or even death if a road accident was to occur. Although airbags are there to keep you and passengers safe, they are designed to be used in conjunction with seat belts for maximum effect.
3. Not having children in proper car seats
A recent study by Britax found that almost a third of parents in the UK with children under the age of 11 admitted to having not used proper child seats on a journey. The research also concluded that 10 percent of parents in Britain had driven for longer than half an hour without a valid child car seat.
Even if you are only making a short journey, itís crucial that children and toddlers are put in a suitable seat. Although there may be a large range of products on offer, and it can be difficult to know whatís what, make sure you keep your little ones safe by doing your research and having the right seat fitted for their age and height.
4. Driving a car that is not roadworthy
Many people choose to ignore problems with their cars, usually because they donít want to pay for the cost of repairs. Although you might think that you can get away with an under inflated tyre or a broken light, these sorts of issues can be dangerous and can easily cause you to lose control of your car or be involved in accident with another car.
If you notice that something is not quite right with your vehicle, even if it seems minor, make sure you get it checked out by a professional as soon as possible. This is particularly true of tyres as they are only only point of contact with the road surface. If the tread is heavily worn it may be time to buy new tyres.
Not only can regular maintenance and routine checks help to prevent collisions and increase the safety of your vehicle, it can also improve fuel economy and keep your car roadworthy for longer.
5. Parking in places you shouldnít
Although most parking spaces are clearly marked with specific legal hours, itís not uncommon to see motorists parking in places they shouldnít. This includes disabled parking spaces, parking outside of clearly marked times or in other restricted areas. This usually ends up with the driver having to pay a fine, or even having their car clamped.
If youíve got away with a parking ticket before or you think you will only be parked there for a few minutes, itís vital that you always abide by marked restrictions. Not only can it be frustrating for other drivers who do have the right to use these spaces, but you could also be breaking the law.
6. Ignoring road signs
Letís face it, some of your driving habits are bound to fall by the wayside after you pass your driving test. However, ignoring the rules of the road can have disastrous consequences. Driving above the speed limit, for example, is one the main reasons car accidents and fatalities happen. Failing to yield at stop or give way signs is also common, especially when drivers think there is no traffic around.
Remember, even if it seems like youíre free to go, you never know when a car or pedestrian can appear. Accidents can be prevented by being observant, obeying speed limits and taking note of other road signs. After all, the signs are there for a reason: to keep you and others safe.
7. Jumping traffic lights
Finally, jumping traffic lights is another driving no-no that is not only dangerous, but illegal too. Whether youíre in a rush and feeling impatient, you have misjudged the amount of time you have to make it through or you simply like the feeling of excitement it gives you, driving through red or yellow lights is a reckless habit that can result in needless collisions.
To keep yourself and others safe, itís crucial that you slow down when approaching red and yellow traffic lights, even if you think they are just about to turn green. However, itís also important to make sure youíve got room to stop, as coming to a halt too quickly can cause following vehicles to crash into the back of you if you donít give enough warning.
These are some of the most common examples of the sins you must take care to avoid when getting behind the wheel. As a motorist, it is your responsibility to practice safe driving to prevent accidents and stay on the right side of the law.
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