The 10 Worst Types of Drivers You Encounter Daily
How often are you driving when you see another motorist and wonder how on earth they managed to get a driver’s license? It is rare to drive through a town and not see a handful of drivers who are not obeying traffic laws. Learn more about the 10 worst types of drivers you see daily in order to limit the effect they will have on you.
- Teen Drivers
Teen drivers have had less experience driving a vehicle and less experience driving defensively in traffic. This can cause them to overcompensate when they feel threatened by a driver who is coming towards them or who is passing them. They are also less likely to be familiar with the area they are driving to which could make their progression more halting and lead to frequent bursts of slowing down and speeding up. Also, with the lack of driving experience teen drivers have it is more likely their lane changes, navigating curves, and making turns will be sharp and hard.
- Elderly Drivers
Drivers often experience a variety of physical limitations as they grow older. Changes in vision are common as are degenerative eye diseases. Decreased visual acuity can make it more difficult for drivers to recognize familiar landmarks, read street signs, and see changes in traffic. At night the lights from oncoming vehicles can become blinding making it difficult to see the appropriate lane. Physical reaction time and movement also decrease with age making it more difficult for the driver to respond to an unexpected situation or to move easily to see through side and rear windows. Finally, overall health conditions and medications can make it more difficult for elderly drivers to drive well.
- Drivers with Children
People who are driving with children have numerous distractions vying for their attention. If the children are fighting, crying, or hurt it can take the driver’s attention away from the road dramatically decreasing their overall effectiveness.
- Cell Phone Drivers
Everyone knows that driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is detrimental to you your ability to drive. However, studies have also shown that driving while talking on a cell phone are equally dangerous. One study, performed by the University of Utah, shows that drinking and talking on a cell phone equally decreases a driver’s performance.
- Texting Drivers
Numerous states have already banned texting while driving due to the dramatic increase in traffic fatalities resulting from drivers who were texting. Unfortunately, many people in all states continue to text while driving regardless of the laws implemented by their state. Insurance companies as well as cell phone companies have both begun to actively discourage texting while driving.
- Sleepy Drivers
Driver fatigue can impair response time because of the decreased level of alertness. There are several ways to tell if a driver is fatigued such as crossing over the center or outer lines of the lane, slowing down and then speeding up at irregular intervals and failing to correctly respond to traffic indicators such as stop signs, traffic lights, and other safety signals.
- Multi-tasking Drivers
Cell phone users and texters get much of the attention when it comes to discussing drivers who are multi-tasking to the detriment of their driving ability. However, there are other tasks that some drivers routinely perform that also qualify them for this list. Drivers who are applying makeup, eating, looking for something in a bag or other seat, or putting in a CD are all being distracted from their primary task. These momentary distractions can prevent the driver from noticing crucial indicators that could prevent an accident.
- Road Rage Drivers
When people discuss road rage they often think of drivers who lose their tempers and become violent because of the inept driving of other motorist. However, drivers with a tendency for road rage are also usually overly aggressive in their own driving methods. They may become impatient when waiting to pass another driver and make unsafe passing decisions, follow too closely behind the driver in front of them, or attempt to cut off other drivers in an attempt to more quickly reach their destination.
- Social Drivers
Who doesn’t want to have a good time? The unfortunate thing, having a good time while driving a vehicle makes the driver much less effective. When large groups of people are going somewhere together they are more likely to be carrying on a conversation, pointing out interesting attractions as they drive by, and generally distracting one another. Very few people are able to ignore such distractions and these drivers may fail to notice traffic slowing, landmarks indicating where they need to turn, or other drivers who may be near them.
- Drunk or Drugged Drivers
According to the CDC about 32 people die every day in the United States as the result of an automobile accident where an impaired driver was involved. It is most common to find these drivers in the evening or early morning hours, however, an impaired driver could be on the road at any time. Pay attention for signals that the driver is not paying attention to motorist rules and traffic indicators and stay as far from them as possible to mitigate the risk they pose.
Knowing more about the worst drivers you are likely to encounter is useful because it helps you learn how to spot them and hopefully limit the risk they pose to you. When you see a driver behaving erratically attempt to move to a safe distance away from them and if possible contact local authorities.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
National Public Radio
National Institute of Aging
University of Utah
Federal Communications Commission
Washington State Patrol
Centers for Disease Control
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