According to the Texas Department of Transportation, the Houston area had the highest number of motor vehicle traffic crashes and fatalities in Texas in 2020. Also, as one of the most congested cities in the United States, Houston has a very high rate of car accidents caused by bad driving habits.
Accordingly, these accidents are caused by numerous factors, such as heavy traffic, a lack of strict enforcement of traffic laws, and a lack of education and proper training on the part of the driver.
But what do you think is the leading cause of the high accident rate in Houston?
If you think of bad driving habits, you are correct.
Read on to learn all the information you need about the causal relationship between lousy driving habits and car accidents.
Bad Driving Habits
Bad driving habits are more common than you think. They not only lead to fatalities and injuries but can also cause irreparable damage to our environment or property. From tailgating to speeding, there are numerous bad driving habits that we need to be aware of to reduce the risk of harm caused by these practices.
- Speeding occurs when a person is driving above and beyond the posted limit or driving too fast under the same circumstances;
- Reckless driving means engaging in dangerous maneuvers such as tailgating, abrupt lane-hopping, counterflowing, and using high beams for oncoming traffic, among others;
- Distracted driving happens when the driver is using a phone while driving, eating, applying make-up, or any activities which increase the driver’s risks of colliding with other vehicles or fixed objects and swerving to another lane;
- Drowsy driving means driving without having adequate rest, sleep or an in a condition that is unsafe to drive;
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs or both;
- Not using turn signals or car blinkers when the driver is required to such as when changing lanes or making a U-turn;
- Not maintaining a safe following distance, especially with large vehicles such as 16-wheeler trucks, tank trucks, log carriers, garbage trucks, mobile cranes, tractor units, cement mixers, and other heavy machinery trucks;
- Not yielding to pedestrians or other motor vehicles; and
- Not obeying traffic signs and traffic rules such as beating the red light or making illegal turns.
Based on statistics, it is undeniable that most drivers know the laws of the road and the consequences they may face upon failing to follow the traffic rules. Despite the strict enforcement of traffic laws, issuance of citations and the corresponding violations, and towing and impounding of vehicles, drivers always tend to choose the dangerous manner of driving.
Is it because of a lack of discipline? Is it because of the adrenaline rush? Is it the satisfaction of overcoming a road challenge? Or is it the lack of basic human decency?
These may be the answers.
However, the reality is only the driver knows his exact state of mind during a car accident.
If you are a driver, you must follow your state’s traffic laws and driving rules to ensure the safety of all road users. You must also be aware of the consequences of your actions if you choose to retain your bad driving habits.
Remember that bad driving requires you to make a conscious effort to avoid them.
By following these guidelines, you will learn the importance of following traffic laws and regulations in order to ensure your safety and the safety of others on the road. With this knowledge, you can become a better driver and help make roads safer for everyone.
Guidelines on How to Avoid Bad Driving Habits
There are several ways to avoid bad driving habits, which can cause severe injury and damage to yourself, other drivers, and pedestrians:
- Follow the posted speed limit and avoid going beyond the limit at all costs, except for emergencies;
- Drive at a speed appropriate for the surrounding circumstances, such as rain and snow, which can make the road slippery and affect its visibility;
- Be knowledgeable of the different hazards on the road and those nearby;
- Be responsible enough to ensure that your speed and position match the ideal conditions of the road;
- Driving at a speed limit reasonably and prudently, especially on the highway;
- Stay focused and avoid any distractions that will cause you to lose track of your driving;
- Never drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol or both;
- Maintain a safe distance from the vehicles in front of you;
- Always give way to pedestrians when there is a pedestrian lane;
- Be a defensive driver — checking your mirrors and tires, being aware of your surroundings, observing traffic rules and regulations such as the “first to arrive, first to drive” rule, right of way, stop signs, left turn yield to right sign, yield to straight lane sine, red lights — and the list goes on;
Defensive driving is the best way to avoid succumbing to bad driving habits. It is a technique by which drivers are trained to anticipate potential hazards on the road and take proactive measures to prevent them. It involves being aware of your actions and those of other drivers around you. It requires understanding the rules of the road and following them religiously.
By following these guidelines, you can ensure that you are always safe while driving and avoid any bad habits that may lead to an accident.
Consequences of Bad Driving Habits
Bad driving habits can have dangerous consequences for drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and road users.
It is, therefore, crucial to know the potential consequences of bad driving habits and take steps to ensure that you are driving safely at all times.
- Accidents, injuries, and fatalities can altogether increase by bad driving habits;
- Property damage, which can cause inconvenience and disruption to other people’s lives;
- Legal penalties such as hefty fines, points on their driving record, tickets, and even jail time;
- Higher insurance premiums, which may be increased by insurance companies for drivers with multiple violations and who run the risk of accidents;
- Increase in traffic congestion; and
- Increase in stress and frustration while on the road and for all involved.
In Houston, Texas, specifically, bad driving habits can result in, but are not limited to, the following:
- Jail time due to criminal conviction;
- Criminal charges and civil lawsuits, which can result in significant financial and personal consequences for the individual drivers;
- Community service as ordered by the court, which can be time-consuming and troublesome to your daily routine;
- Loss of license, making it difficult for you to get to work, school, and to any places where you need to be; and
- Fines and penalties.
In the end, understanding the consequences of your actions behind the wheel is necessary to change your bad driving habits. With that, you can help reduce the number of accidents in Houston, TX, and ultimately create a safer environment for everyone.
Hire a Car Accident Attorney Today
A car accident attorney is a legal professional who specializes in dealing with car accident cases. They can provide you with the following services:
- Acquaint you with your legal rights and remedies;
- Present you with your legal options;
- Investigate the accident and gather any relevant information from the accident;
- Give you legal advice;
- Negotiate with insurance companies and talk with experienced adjusters;
- Guide you through the process of filing a claim, whether on your insurance company or the other driver’s insurance company;
- Filing a civil or criminal lawsuit on your behalf;
- Represent you in court; and
- Help you obtain compensation for your accident’s losses, injuries, and other damages.
When choosing a car accident attorney, finding someone with comprehensive and varied experience handling similar cases and who you think has your best interest at heart is essential. You may ask for recommendations from your previous attorneys, if any, or search for a skilled car accident attorney in your area.
Before hiring your attorney, you must have a case evaluation and consultation with them to discuss your case.
If you are a car accident victim, face your legal problems head-on.
Why is that so?
Most car accident attorneys operate on a contingency basis, which means if you do not get paid by your insurance company or the at-fault driver’s insurance company, they do not get paid. This is the incentive that you need to handle your situation.
Remember that Houston, Texas, has a statute of limitations where personal injury claims must be filed within two (2) years from the date of the accident. Otherwise, you will not be able to file a claim. Therefore, you will not have a single penny in your pocket.
Now, do you see the importance of acting quickly after an accident?
If you have been in a car accident, hire a car accident attorney as soon as possible. With a reputable attorney on your side, you can rest easy knowing that your rights are legally protected and that your case is handled professionally and efficiently. With their expertise, a car accident attorney can help you navigate the complex legal system and ensure the best outcome for your case.
Ultimately, hiring a car accident attorney today is the best way to ensure justice is served and that you receive the full and fair compensation you deserve for all your losses.
What are you waiting for?