According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data, the number of traffic accident fatalities in the U.S. has decreased markedly since the 1970s. That being said, there are around 35,000 deaths per year, and traffic accidents usually rank in the top ten causes of death annually.

There are a few things to be aware of when driving on the road. Whether you have been driving for 1 month or 20 years, the rules of the road are always changing. Awareness saves lives!

Drunk driving
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Driving under the influence of alcohol is still the most discussed driving offence. 42 states in the United States now have administrative license suspension (ALS) for a first-time offence. Driving with an impaired sense of judgment is a habit that everyone should have come to the realization that it’s not healthy.

Everything shows us how bad this is: according to findings from CDC.gov, in 2014 alone 9,967 people died as a result of crashes that were caused by impaired driving.

Driving tired

Hitting the road while you’re stressed and tired is another habit that is dangerous. The NHTSA thinks drowsy driving is just as dangerous as drunk driving. The human body gets tired easily, and getting behind the wheels is not the smartest thing to do when your body badly needs rest.

The fact that driving requires a sharp response in instinct makes it very apt that you’re fully alert before taking control of the wheels.

Aggressive driving and road rage

This is just a sheer emotional rage that mostly manifests itself when people are behind the wheels. It cannot be stressed enough how important it is for you to maintain a calm demeanor when sharing the road with other drivers.

Being aggressive while driving won’t get you to your destination any faster, and neither would it earn you a trophy. It just upsets you and everyone you share the road with.

Driving too fast for the weather conditions

When the weather gets bad, slowing down is the best way to avoid an accident. This goes back to that physics thing.

All-wheel drive isn’t an excuse for driving fast in inclement weather. When the road surface is slippery, a 3,500- to 5,000-pound vehicle will probably skid if you need to slow down in a hurry. According to the Federal Highway Administration, 24 percent of all vehicle crashes are weather related. That’s a good reason to slow down and increase the distance between you and the car in front of you.

Reckless driving

Reckless driving is a good way to cause a crash and endanger other motorists. This includes swerving, weaving in and out of traffic, passing on the right, accelerating and braking suddenly, and yes, driving slowly in the left lane on the freeway, among other things. Many states consider driving 20 mph or more over the speed limit reckless driving, which carries heavy penalties in the form of fines, jail time, or a combination thereof. This goes back to predictability. If your movements in traffic are drastically different than those of other drivers, you’re more likely to cause an accident. Not surprisingly, younger males are more likely to engage in this shabby mockery of race car driving.

Distracted driving

NHTSA estimates that there are 660,000 distracted drivers on the road most of the time. The federal government has responded by pressuring state governments to ban texting and driving, eating and driving, and all other activities that take motorists’ attention away from the road.

How many times in the past week have you looked into someone’s car at an intersection only to see that they couldn’t see you, because they were on the phone or in a heated debate? Distracted drivers are an example of why some people think autonomous, self-driving cars are the way of the future.

What bad habit do you often catch yourself displaying when behind the wheel? How do you plan to change these driving habits that could be endangering you and your family?

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