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Our recent survey shows that 9 out of 10 people consider themselves to be a safe driver, but how true is that statement? There are plenty of common driving misconceptions that could mean you’re not actually driving as safe as you think. Check out some of them below.
Do you think you’re a safe driver? Nine in ten drivers we surveyed say they are, but how true is it? We’ve compiled some common driving misconceptions that could mean you’re driving more dangerously than you realize.
1. Driving Misconception: Putting off repairing a windshield chip is okay.
a. Misconception Busted: Safe drivers should know that cracks will spread if left untreated, creating a safety risk to you and your passengers.
2. Driving Misconception: A hands-free device is the best way to talk on your phone while driving.
a. Misconception Busted: Talking on your phone, even with a hands-free device, is still considered distracted driving. Distracted driving crashes killed 3,154 people in 2013 and injured 424,000.
3. Driving Misconception: Text messaging while driving is unsafe, but checking your text messages or phone without responding or typing while driving is okay.
a. Misconception Busted: Looking away from the road and at your phone is still considered a distraction, and is one of the leading causes of accidents, making it an extremely unsafe activity. Taking your eyes off the road for just five seconds when traveling at 55 mph is enough time to travel the length of a football field.
4. Driving Misconception: No matter what, the speed limit if the safest speed at which to travel.
a. Misconception Busted: The posted speed limit is based on ideal driving conditions, and doesn’t take into account dangerous conditions such as fog, black ice or even wet payment. Going slower than the speed limit in these situations is the safest way to drive.
5. Driving Misconception: Best maintenance practice is to change your oil every 3,000 miles.
a. Misconception Busted: It won’t hurt to change your oil that often, but it’s best to follow the recommended schedule in your owner’s manual. Some vehicles are now recommending waiting until 7,500 miles.
6. Driving Misconception: If your blood alcohol level is within the legal limit, it’s safe to drive.
a. Misconception Busted: Alcohol has a number of side effects, including reducing reaction time, visual tracking of moving objects and judgment, and that can start with your first drink. Even a small amount of alcohol can have a detrimental effect on driving capabilities.
Driving safe is all about maintaining focus on the road, while understanding which weather conditions can cause you to alter the way you drive. Think about these tips and misconceptions and make sure you really are a safe driver!