Are you guilty of the worst driving habits?

We all have bad driving habits. If you’ve been driving for many years, it’s easy to become complacent and allow small habits to creep into your driving style. These bad habits might seem harmless, but they could cause an accident, or at the very least get you a ticket. 

When it comes to road safety, we know that it’s illegal to use a cell phone when driving, as being distracted could lead to fatal accidents. There are other risky things that drivers are guilty of, that you probably haven’t even thought were dangerous. 


Driving when you’re angry not only causes you to lose focus, but it leads to more aggressive driving, which can in turn cause accidents. Incidents of road rage are on the rise, and with the mental health of South Africans amongst the worst in the world, it’s better not to lose your temper on the road. You never know who you may encounter or how the situation might escalate.


Munching on a fruit might not be a problem, but eating something like your morning cereal with a spoon not only takes your hand away from the wheel for longer, but a spill could take your eyes – and focus – off the road.


Even if there’s a book or newspaper on your steering wheel, which means you don’t have to take your eyes too far off the road, your attention is on what you’re reading, when it should be 100% on the road. Let’s not even begin to talk about reading social media updates since hopefully you put your phone away while driving.


You might need some direction but punching in a new address or checking out your route gets your eyes off the road. Rather stop and reset or set everything before you start your drive.


When you apply makeup, you take your eyes off the road and onto your mirror and your face. Rather arrive safely at your destination without your lipstick or mascara.


Whether you’re trying to break up a fight, or just looking lovingly at your child in the back, those few seconds can cost you. (An important safety tip: Is your child buckled in safely?)


If you’re taking off items of clothing or shoes, it’s likely your hands won’t be on the wheel, or your foot will be off the brake, or your seatbelt unbuckled. This leaves you vulnerable, and not completely in control.


It’s extremely unsafe for kids or pets to ride on your lap, plus they could get in your way. The same goes for unrestrained dogs and kids at the back.


There’s nothing wrong with listening to music, but wearing headphones cuts you off from the noise outside, whether it’s the sound of a hooter or the screech of brakes, which could alert you to danger, and divert you from an accident.

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