The 10 Most Common Lethal Driving Mistakes

We’re all guilty of driving mistakes. Sometimes we drive while drowsy or let ourselves become distracted by a strange site or a commotion going on in the car. It’s not uncommon to drive down a street and see others in cars talking on cell phones, putting on makeup, shaving, or even reading!

Whether you are a paragon of driving virtue or a terror on the road, you’d better read a recent list released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on the most common deadly driving mistakes. Don’t let friends and loved ones risk their lives with these risky behaviors:

1.) Swerving – According to the NHTSA study, failing to stay in their own lane is the #1 reason drivers end up in fatal accidents.

2.) Drowsy Driving – According to the NHTSA, in 2007 fatigued driving caused the deaths of 1,404 people, and more traffic fatalities occurred during the hours when most people are accustomed to being asleep (3 a.m. to 6 a.m.) than at any other time of day.

3.) Driving Under the Influence – According to MADD, someone dies in a drunk driving accident every 40 minutes. Young people 21 – 34 are responsible for the highest number of drunk driving fatalities, and perhaps not surprisingly, most drunk driving fatalities occur at night and on weekends.

4.) Over Correcting – Teens and other inexperienced drivers are most prone to this nervous maneuver. Over correcting when facing trouble on the road can lead to rollovers and much worse. More than 4% of auto fatalities every year occur because of this jumpy mistake.

5.) Speeding – Driving too fast is the second highest cause of death in car accidents. 30% of speeding fatalities occur at speeds of 50 mph or above. Driving too fast for conditions is another culprit.

6.) Failure to Observe the Right of Way – This is the top cause of auto accidents for seniors ages 70 and above and the fifth leading cause of crashes overall. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, elders either fail to see other drivers, or see the drivers but miscalculate the time they have to merge.

7.) Reckless Driving – From weaving and tailgating to driving on the wrong side of the road, reckless driving caused 1,850 fatalities in 2007. Driving over 80 mph or driving 20 miles or more over the speed limit is considered reckless driving.

8.) Running Red Lights – According to the nonprofit Insurance Research Council, 75% of auto accidents occur in cities. Why? Because of drivers’ tendency to step on the gas when the light turns red.

9.) Failure to Buckle Up – Though seat belt use is up, the fact remains that 33% of auto accident fatalities occurred because drivers and passengers weren’t using their seat belts. Seat belts help prevent ejection, and ejection results in death in 76% of all motor vehicle accidents.

10.) Distracted Driving – Talking on the phone, texting, reading, all of these are the modus operandi of the distracted driver. Cell phone use may be the biggest culprit, with an estimated 1 million Americans are driving and talking on the phone at any given time.

Pass these deadly driving mistakes on to family and friends and let’s all keep the roads a little safer.