Updated 11/06/2012 05:00 PM
The Car Coach: Three pet peeves
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Driving shouldn't be a stressful experience. Unfortunately, all that power behind the wheel can result in many bad driving habits. I’m going to cover three of the biggest “Pet Peeves” to help all drivers stay safe on the road.
Are you a pain to your fellow motorists? Ask yourself if this is you! If so, here are some tips.
1. Forgetting to use YOUR turn signals – turn signals are one of the only methods you have to communicate with other drivers. Being lazy or absent-minded about your turn signal can cause a rear end collision, or cause someone to attempt to pass you at the worst possible time. It’s equally important on expressways when changing lanes. Remember, that person in your blind spot can’t read your mind.
Bottom Line: Remember to always use your turn signals.
2. Hogging the Left Lane: The fact is, the left lane is supposed to be the passing lane. Slower drivers in the left lane can actually be cited for obstructing traffic. Those who stake out permanent positions in the left lane tend to provoke other cars to drive faster, often giving them no other choice but the dangerous strategy of passing on the right.
Bottom Line: Moving over isn’t a matter of courtesy; it’s a matter of safety. It is also a matter of doing one's part to help traffic flow smoothly.
3. Cut out distraction – Many of us like to multi task while driving. This can be very dangerous. Anytime you become preoccupied or distracted, you’re letting down your defenses. As always, minimize your eating, drinking, loud music choices, and cell phone conversations. Save these for when you’re stopped in a safe place. If you must talk and drive, use a hands free device – they are worth every penny and in many states they are required by law.
Bottom Line: Keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel.
If you feel you or someone else you know requires more help with bad driving habits, consider enrolling in a defensive driving course. Depending on your state, many insurance companies can offer a premium reduction for approved courses.