What are the most dangerous driving behaviors?

Many motor vehicle fatalities have a direct link to dangerous and reckless driving behaviors. These behaviors affect all drivers, even those who follow traffic laws and conduct themselves correctly when behind the wheel. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, there were 1,437 traffic fatalities in North Carolina in 2018. That means there were 13.8 deaths for every 100,000 people in the state. Here are a few of the more dangerous behaviors that can lead to accidents, injuries, and even loss of life in severe cases.


Speeding not only increases the risk of an accident, it also increases the chance of serious injury. Drivers must observe the posted speed limit, but they must also maintain a safe speed according to the current weather conditions. For example, if it is raining, drivers should go slower than the speed limit.

Distracted driving

Driving distractions range from using a mobile device behind the wheel to eating while driving. Distractions can be cognitive, visual, and manual. Cognitive distractions occur when your mind is not on the act of driving, while visual and manual distractions entail taking your eyes off the road and removing your hands from the wheel.

Driving while impaired

Driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol impairs judgment and hand-eye coordination. It also dulls reaction times, making motorists less likely to react appropriately to unexpected situations.

Fatigued driving

Much like impaired driving, drowsy or fatigued driving also causes impairment. Driver fatigue is often a contributor to trucking accidents, which occur after commercial truckers have logged many long hours on the road.

Aggressive driving

Commonly known as “road rage”, some drivers let their emotions take over when behind the wheel. This can cause tailgating, cutting other drivers off in traffic, and halting in front of vehicle, all of which lead to major accidents.

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