Among safe driving educators, it is easy to point the finger at young drivers as being the unsafest drivers
The combination of inexperience and peer pressure to occasionally do dangerous things is not a good combination when someone is behind the wheel.
However, that doesn't mean seasoned drivers are necessarily safer. Seasoned drivers can still be unsafe drivers… But for very different reasons. For seasoned drivers, it all boils down to habits. Seasoned drivers might start off with good habits but over time it is easy to become lazy and let some good driving habits disappear, or even to fail to keep up to the changing demands of driving.
Here are some of the top ways that seasoned drivers are unsafe drivers
- They fail to check their mirrors and/or blindspots as frequently as they are supposed to. Checking mirrors and blindspots ensures that the driver is aware of the location of nearby vehicles. Seasoned drivers who might have enjoyed years of collision-free driving, sometimes let this essential habit slip as they focus on other things – the road ahead or something going on in the vehicle
- They fail to adequately control the vehicle. Although driving with "hands on ten and two" (the location of the hands on the steering wheel) might have been something they were initially taught, seasoned drivers might allow comfort rather than control decide on their driving skills." Hands on ten and two" soon becomes one hand at twelve while the other one hangs out the window. Or, worse yet, one FINGER at six while the other hand sense text messages
- They spend more time focused on things inside of the vehicle. Seasoned drivers have vehicles that can do more things – from controlling temperatures in zones to more selections on a satellite radio. Plus, seasoned drivers tend to carry more passengers that they pay attention to (specifically: a back seat full of children). Seasoned drivers can often divert their focus from the road to spend more time on things inside their vehicle
- They rely on the safety features of their vehicles. Seasoned drivers might become used to the power steering and power brakes and other safety features of their vehicle and put their reliance on those things. Soon, those conveniences give the illusion of safety and real safe-driving skills can erode
- They fail to keep up with the changes on the road. Seasoned drivers get used to driving on specific roads in a specific environment. The slightest change can disrupt their patterns and keep them from driving safely
There are safe drivers at all ages, and there are unsafe drivers at all ages. It's easy to point to brand new drivers and blame them for being unsafe but seasoned drivers can be unsafe as well. It is everyone's responsibility to choose to drive safely every day.