Things That Make You a Bad Driver (Part 1)
The most popular topics when it comes to poor driving are texting while driving, drinking and driving, and speeding. Although these topics need to be spread and have become an epidemic, there are many other things that make us poor drivers. The following list, in no particular order, is actions and other things that cause your driving skills to suffer.
“What Happens in Vegas Stays in Vegas.” We’re all guilty of the casual eye glance while we fly by billboards on highways (advertisers make them difficult to ignore!). After all, that’s why they put them up, right? Although motorists and their wandering eyes may be good for the businesses and companies who create these eye-catching billboards, they are horrible for traffic and can alter how you drive. A recent study showed that billboards that reference fame, money and sex cause drivers to speed, while others about prison, war, and abuse cause drivers to slow their speed. Not only do these giant advertisements change the pace that a driver is going, it also causes motorists to drift out of their lane. Even though this study is only more recently being posted, companies won’t care too much as long as business is booming. In the end, they’re “lovin’ it!”
Like billboards, road signs can cause a driver to have wandering eyes. In the small town of Drachten, Netherlands, a new traffic movement called “naked streets” is being practiced. What this Netherlands town did was change 20 of their four-way intersections into traffic circles with no sings. This caused one intersection to go from 2-4 people dying each year to zero since 2003. They also removed traffic lights, which lead to a decrease in traffic accidents by 36 in four (4) years. Because there are no distractions on the roads, motorists are paying more attention to the flow of traffic rather than a sign telling them what to do. Because of this one small town, many others are considering joining this movement of naked streets.
Driving Routine Paths
Have you ever been driving a certain road and you automatically start driving to somewhere you go all the time, such as work or school? It feels as if our brain has shut off and our muscles take over, since they “know” where you’re driving. It happens to many of us that travel the same routes daily. A 2010 study shows that when we are familiar with a certain route, our brain’s activity becomes less, while when we travel in an unfamiliar area, we tend to pay more attention. This has nothing to do with inexperience in driving, either. This test worked with 16 skilled drivers and 16 less practiced drivers. CalculateMe also shows that most accidents happen close to home. My suggestion when traveling somewhere familiar: try to travel alternating paths so you are not driving the same pattern daily.
This may seem harmless (since it’s a ton of fun), but if you sing and jam while you’re behind the wheel, you may be one of the hundreds of people who cause accidents each year due to this form of distracted driving. Because your brain has to work extra to belt the words of your favorite tunes, it takes away from what is happening on the roadway, making it harder for you to react to dangerous situations. Lesson learned? Maybe you should stick to your day job. “Professional Car Jammer” won’t get you very far in the music industry anyhow.
Stay tuned for more bizarre things that could be causing your driving to suffer!