Risky behavior behind the wheel may look cool in movies, but it’s actually quite dangerous in real life. Whether you’re alone or have passengers, are well-experienced or a beginner or even if you feel like you have an urgent situation on your hands, you should never, ever do the following while driving:
1. Use Your Phone Or Fidget With Gadgets
Texting or talking on your phone takes your eyes and your attention off of the road for far too long, as does searching for anything online. Since your phone is so convenient, you feel like it’s an extension of your arm, but in reality, it’s a dangerous device to use behind the wheel.
2. Drink Or Eat
Eating lunch or sipping coffee seems harmless enough while driving; however, it’s something that causes accidents all the time. You’re so focused on food, especially something you might drop or spill, you forget about the road ahead of you.
3. Engage Your Children In The Backseat
Kids have a way of demanding attention in cars that’s hard for parents to resist, but doing otherwise puts everyone at risk. If you need to discipline your children or engage them in more than a few words, safely pull over to the side of the road or rest area, first.
4. Allow Yourself To Become Angry
Road rage is, unfortunately, becoming all too common these days, and with busy, stressful lives, it’s easy to get angry. Count to ten, breathe deeply or listen to relaxing music, especially on those occasions when you’re already upset, even before you get behind the wheel.
5. Be Intoxicated Or High
It should go without saying that you should never drive while impaired by a substance, but it happens all too often, and with tragic results. If you’re not sure about driving while taking a legal, prescription medication, ask your doctor. Don’t take chances with anything else, ever.
6. Be Too Tired And Sleepy
Driving while sleepy is just as dangerous as driving while drunk; if you’re that tired, pull over to rest or simply avoid driving to begin with.
7. Speed And/Or Disobey Traffic Laws
Most people are in a hurry, but being too rushed behind the wheel can get you in major trouble, not to mention hurt or killed. The faster you’re going, the greater the impact of any accident so keep your foot light on the gas pedal and observe all traffic laws.
8. Fail To Stop For A Police Officer
Risky behavior behind the wheel most definitely includes failing to stop for an officer or otherwise not listening to one. There are always more cruisers to follow, if you can manage to get away from one, and in the process, everyone on the road is threatened.
9. Ignore Weather Warnings
If weather reports indicate it’s simply not safe to drive, don’t do it. Your life and the lives of other people on the road simply aren’t worth the risk, no matter how much you need to get somewhere.
10. Ignore Potential Problems With Your Vehicle
When you’re not sure your car is safe to drive, either because it may stop running or some important part isn’t functioning properly, don’t drive it. Not only is driving the car dangerous, but you’re inevitably going to get stuck in the middle of nowhere or even in the middle of a dangerous highway.
Risky behavior behind the wheel isn’t just dangerous to you and others, it can land you in jail or result in a temporary or permanent suspension of your license. No matter what the conditions, what the circumstances or what excuses you may have, don’t ever do these things while driving. Life depends on it, including yours.