Bad driving habits create accidents. You know that. That’s why you are a very attentive driver and you pay attention to every detail. No one is perfect, but you consider yourself a decent driver. But, what about the other drivers on the road with you? The fact is, other drivers are impossible to control and their bad actions can lead to your suffering. The key, then, is to know what risks are and then to take steps to protect yourself. Don’t assume that because you are an attentive driver everyone else is.

What Are the Biggest Mistakes Other Drivers Make?

The following are the most common bad mistakes other drivers are making that could put your life on the line:

#1: They tailgate

Tailgating occurs when the driver’s remains too close to the person in front of him or her. Not only does this create a risk for the involved drivers, but also those around them. It takes just a few seconds for an accident to occur if the first driver slows down unexpectedly or the tailgating driver loses focus. What can you do? Stay away! Moving out of the way of drivers like this is the best step you can take to protect yourself and your family. Don’t slow down if they are behind you, but rather move to the side. You also should not feel pressured to speed up.

#2: They are inconsiderate of other drivers

How many times has a driver not let you get over into a lane so you could exit the highway? Perhaps they have not allowed you to merge due to construction. While there is no rule that says they have to let you over, drivers that don’t often allow or create accidents. If you can allow the driver to get over, do so. It benefits everyone else. If you are the driver that needs to merge, don’t force your way into the lane. More so, be aware of changing traffic conditions that may allow these situations to happen.

#3: They speed and don’t pay attention

There may not be anything more worrisome than a driver that is speeding down the street when you are outside playing with your children. Even if you are on the road with them, speeders can be worrisome. Why they do it may not be clear, but you know that speeding is one of the biggest risk factors for accidents. This includes people who do not reduce their speed in potentially hazardous situations, such as in construction zones, sharp turns, or neighborhoods. What can you do about them? The only thing you can do is to stay clear of them. By being an aware driver, you can easily pinpoint the other drivers on the road that you shouldn’t be following.

#4: They are distracted

This bad habit of many drivers can lead to significant damage to your car. Whether they are changing the radio, texting, or even in a heated argument with whoever is in the car with them, they put you at risk every time they look away from the road. Changing these behaviors isn’t easy. As a driver, though, you’ll want to ensure you are always focused on the road and what these distracted driver are doing behind the wheel to protect yourself.

#5: They are tired

Did you know that driving while being tired is almost as limiting as driving intoxicated? What’s worse is that it can be very hard to tell that the driver is struggling to stay awake. Often times, people think they are okay and they are more likely to get behind the wheel if they are tired than if they are drunk. This leads to, once again, your need to monitor other drivers as they swerve and make poor decisions.

Every one of these bad driving habits can be life threatening to you and your family. However, there is something you can do about it. One of the most effective tools for you is to take a defensive driving course. This type of course can teach you how to protect yourself even when the other driver is the biggest risk you face. It’s critical to take this step – not doing so means it’s you against them on the road!