In just a couple of weeks, we'll be waving goodbye to 2022 and saying hello to 2023. With another year set to close, it has always been a tradition for some to make New Year's resolutions in order to become better versions of themselves.
Unfortunately, when it comes to driving, there are motorists who continue to practice bad driving habits on public roads. Not only are they endangering themselves, but they are also putting other road users in danger. More importantly, these bad driving habits might lead other drivers on the road to practice the same behavior, resulting in more chaos on the road. Monkey see monkey do, and all that.
Let's take a look at five bad driving habits to kick out for 2023.
1. Not respecting road markings
Whether it's the pedestrian lane, the white solid line, a double yellow line, the arrow lanes, the box junction, as well as the white dashed line, there are drivers who don't respect (or ignore) the road markings.
Whenever we see pedestrian lanes, motorists must always make sure it's open for people to cross. The same thing goes for box junctions that are typically found in intersections. If all the vehicles block and don't give way, it's pandemonium.
Then there are the lane markings on the road that signify the importance of when it's safe (or not safe) to overtake, when to yield, or which turn you're allowed to take near a crossing or intersection. Failing to follow or respect any of these lanes could result in an accident, or worse, a fatality.
Last but not least is obstructing the junction box at intersections. The box has to be clear at all times to ensure that vehicles from any direction will be able to pass through without any problem. Unfortunately, there are still drivers on the road who cross the junction despite traffic already being at a standstill.
The next time you're at a junction, don't try to cross the intersection when you know it will only result in you (or others) getting stuck in the box. You wouldn't want to be the other driver who wishes to cross the junction but now have to wait for the offending driver to "unblock" themselves from the junction.
If you want to learn more about the importance of road markings, you can check out our feature about road markings and what they mean.
2. Staying on the overtaking lane
This is probably one of the worst sins you can commit while driving on the expressway. Despite the constant reminders and signs that the leftmost lane is only for passing or overtaking, there are still drivers who hog the left lane.
While some appear to remain ignorant that the overtaking lane should always be open, some still stick to the left lane while doing the limit thinking that it's the right thing to do. Again, it's called an overtaking lane, not the speed limit lane.
It doesn't matter if you're doing the speed limit while on the left lane, if there's another car that's faster than you and you refuse to switch lanes, you're obstructing traffic. Should you refuse to leave the overtaking lane and a patrol vehicle/motorcycle spot you for hogging it, you can be flagged down and given a traffic violation ticket.
3. Not using turn signals
Ever been cut off by someone while driving on the road? Well, more than likely, you've been the victim of someone not using their turn signals. While some might say it's common sense for most drivers to use turn signals to let everyone know where they're going, some drivers (sadly) have yet to make it a habit.
Not only does using the turn signals considered proper decorum while on the road, but it’s also actually letting other people know where you're heading. This gives the vehicle behind you (or in front of you) an early heads-up that you intend to make a turn or change lanes without surprising them.
4. Using hazard lights in the rain
Another bad habit drivers should really stop doing whenever it's pouring is using the hazard lights while driving. While most still believe it helps their vehicle become more visible in a downpour, it actually causes more confusion.
Since the hazards are turned on, motorists cannot tell if you're veering right or veering left. While some will argue they will turn the hazards off and use the turn signals when changing lanes, it's not the most practical thing to do while driving in a downpour now is it?
Drivers should instead just turn on their headlights while driving in the rain in order to make themselves more visible to other motorists.
5. Stop tailgating other vehicles
No, we're not talking about stopping tailgate parties (which we actually like to do). Instead, we're talking about stopping the practice of tailgating behind other vehicles on the road. While it has become a habit for most of us to stick closely behind another vehicle in order to avoid getting cut off by other vehicles, this driving habit can lead to fender benders or even accidents.
And if you thought this driving habit is already bad enough while in traffic, you might also start practicing it on the expressway. Remember, the faster a vehicle is traveling, the more stopping distance it needs to slow down. If you're tailgating right behind another vehicle and they suddenly hit the brakes, you'll have little to no time to slow down your car before ending up hitting the vehicle in front of you which can result in crashes, injuries, or even death.
With another year coming to a close, we need to become better drivers if we actually want to practice safe driving. Remember, it's not just you using the roads, there are millions of other motorists in the country who also use the road.
It's time to kick the habit and lose those bad driving habits when we welcome 2023 in just several weeks.