In 2017, Washington’s distracted driving law went into effect and made it illegal for drivers to operate a cell phone or a mobile device. Authorities credit that law with reducing traffic fatalities in the state.
Many other factors go into a person’s ability to safely and competently navigate the roads while behind a wheel. A few indisputable signs indicate a driver needs to step up his or her driving practices.
Practices of good driving
A USA Today article referenced a survey that showed that almost one-third of drivers admit to texting and driving. While this is an example of bad driving, the article contained many signs of good driving. One driving instructor listed these actions as positive practices:
- Follow the rules of the road
- Wear a seat belt
- Avoid running red lights
- Refuse to drink and drive
- Avoid using electronic devices
Other safe habits while driving include scanning the road 15 seconds ahead, checking mirrors every five to seven seconds and using turn signals when changing lanes and turning. Defensive driving involves anticipating erratic drivers and unsafe conditions and taking appropriate actions.
Practices of bad driving
US News & World Report listed seven habits of bad drivers. Many of these concerned instances of distracted driving. The practice of texting while driving forces the eyes of the driver off the road for about five seconds, long enough to travel the length of a football field on a highway. Fiddling with car media such as adjusting the volume or stations on the radio is a sign of poor driving. Eating or drinking in the car can cause swerving or other erratic moves. Even talking to passengers while driving takes a person’s mind off the task of driving.