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New Year, New Driving Habits: How To Be a Better Driver in 2024

A woman holding a burger and coffee while behind the wheel of a car.

Bad driving habits have become increasingly prevalent in recent years in Kansas and across the nation. Many drivers who are in a hurry may speed, multi-task, or run through red lights. Some drivers even become comfortable driving impaired, tired, or distracted. However, it only takes a split second for one of these bad habits to lead to a serious car accident. That's why developing new habits and becoming a better driver should be everyone's priority in 2024.

Study reveals most drivers can be safer

A study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reveals alarming statistics: only 41.2% of drivers practice safe driving habits. This leaves nearly 60% engaging in risky behaviors. The 2022 Traffic Safety Culture Index survey categorizes these behaviors, finding that:

  • 15% of participants frequently engage in a variety of distractions.
  • 22.7% speed frequently.
  • 17.3% drive both distractedly and aggressively.
  • 1.3% drive impaired.
  • 2.4% engage in all mentioned risky behaviors.

The importance of developing new driving habits

AAA instructor Arnie Kinsler has personally seen an increase in dangerous driving. This includes drivers disregarding traffic signals, eating while driving on the highway, and driving at dangerous speeds. That's why he advises his young students to strictly follow traffic rules and not be deterred from doing so by impatient drivers. For seasoned drivers, he recommends AAA's Defensive Driving Course to refresh their skills. This helps address the habits that many experienced drivers have become comfortable with, including:

  • Distracted driving: Distracted driving, including using cellphones, takes your attention away from the road. More than 3,500 people died in crashes caused by distracted driving on U.S. roads in 2021. To avoid this, AAA encourages drivers to put their cellphones on "do not disturb" and keep them out of reach. If necessary, pull over safely to use cellphones.
  • Impaired driving: In 2021, drunk driving led to more than 13,000 traffic fatalities. That's why AAA suggests getting a cab, rideshare, or designated driver if you plan on drinking. Additionally, you can walk or stay at a family member or friend's house, if possible.
  • Drowsy driving: Similar to impaired driving, drowsy driving leads to reduced focus, judgment, and memory. It has led to 684 road deaths in 2021. AAA suggests getting adequate rest and taking breaks every two hours or 100 miles on long trips to avoid drowsiness or falling asleep at the wheel.
  • Speeding and aggressive driving: High speeds tend to be catastrophic. Plus, speeding reduces drivers' distance and time to avoid a crash. That might explain why speeding caused about 12,330 deaths on American roads in 2021. To avoid speeding, plan ahead and allow ample time to get where you're going. Also, don't engage in aggressive driving, even if you're stressed.

Hurt in a crash? Get help from an experienced car accident lawyer

Good driving habits are crucial for roadway safety, but car accidents can still occur due to the negligent actions of other drivers. At Warner Law Offices, we've seen lives turned upside down. We've seen injured motorists and their families endure months of recovery and financial hardship as a result of a collision. That's why we're committed to holding negligent drivers accountable and demanding justice for our clients.

Our Wichita, Kansas car accident lawyers understand how difficult it is to deal with insurance companies and get compensated for damages, all while recovering from an injury. That's why we take care of everything while you focus on healing. If you or a loved one was injured, we'll fight for the maximum compensation you deserve. To learn more, contact us online or call our Wichita law office for a free case evaluation.

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