Skip to Content
Missouri & Illinois Personal Injury Attorneys 800-391-4318

The Most Unsafe Driving Behaviors in the U.S.

driver resting wrists agains the steering wheel while holding a burger in the left hand and a drink in the right hand while driving

Avoiding Bad Driving Habits Can Reduce the Risk of a Crash

It’s safe to say that while you’re on the road, you’ve probably witnessed more drivers engaging in bad driving habits, which causes frustration and a stressful driving experience. However, some of us may also be guilty of a few driving blunders than we’d care to admit.

Nobody is a perfect driver, and we all make mistakes. However, knowing the top ways motor vehicle accidents are caused can help us to remember to pay attention when operating a motor vehicle and practice defensive driving habits every time we are behind the wheel. According to research and recorded data, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) deems the following driving habits to be the riskiest.

Driving While Distracted

According to the NHTSA, distracted driving caused 3,142 fatalities in 2019. Driving while distracted is one of the top causes of deadly crashes in the U.S. Distracted driving can involve the following behaviors:

  • Manual distractions that take your hands off the wheel (changing the radio station, talking/texting, eating while driving, taking something out of the glove compartment)
  • Visual distractions that take your eyes off the road such as looking at something on the side of the road or looking at a passenger or at directions on a GPS device)
  • Cognitive distractions such as daydreaming or your mind wander away from the task of driving (listening to a podcast, having a conversation with a hands-free device)


Speeding is one of the most dangerous driving habits — and relying on good brakes and your years of driving experience can be a deadly mistake. The NHTSA reports that in 2018, approximately one-third of all motor vehicle crash fatalities were due to speeding. To put it in further perspective, 9,378 lives were lost that year by speeding drivers. When you’re rushing to get somewhere, remember it’s better to arrive late than not at all. Slow down for everyone’s safety.

Not Wearing a Seat Belt

It’s become common knowledge that seat belts save lives. According to the NHTSA, 90.3% of people used seat belts nationwide in 2020. In 2017, buckling up saved an estimated 14,955 lives. If everyone put seat belts to use in 2017, an additional 2,549 lives could have been saved.

Want another reason to wear your seat belt? Airbags alone won’t protect you unless you are wearing a proper restraint. The force of an airbag can cause severe injuries or death when not secured by a seat belt.

Running Red Lights

Data analysis from 2017 performed by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety regarding drivers who ran red lights, it was found that:

  • 28% of crash deaths that occurred in 2017 were due to a driver running through a red light
  • Almost half of those killed (46%) were passengers of people in other vehicles
  • More than 5% were pedestrians or cyclists
  • Over 35% of those killed were the drivers who ran the red light

Failing to Yield/Give the Right of Way

Failing to yield to traffic when at an intersection can be a dangerous maneuver. Pedestrians always have the right-of-way. Bicyclists must follow the same rules as cars. However, if you are approaching an intersection with a bicyclist simultaneously, the bicyclist will have the right of way. When approaching an intersection with another vehicle, the driver who got to the intersection first has the right-of-way.

Engaging in Reckless Driving

In addition to speeding, reckless driving behaviors put everyone on the road at risk of sustaining a severe injury or death. Refrain from the following reckless driving behaviors for a safer ride.

  • Tailgating (following too closely behind another vehicle)
  • Cutting off other drivers
  • Racing other vehicles
  • Weaving in and out of traffic
  • Driving in areas not intended for vehicles
  • Making sudden lane changes

Hurt in a Car Accident? Meyerkord & Kurth Can Help.

Being involved in a motor vehicle crash can mean sustaining a catastrophic injury with long-term consequences. Not only can a car crash pose physical and mental challenges, but many victims also face financial implications due to large medical bills and other costs for treatments and therapies. Recovering from a severe injury can be long and challenging for both the victim and their family — and when insurance companies want to give less than adequate settlements for your injuries, it can be even more taxing for everyone involved.

When it comes to car accident claims, our team of experienced attorneys is ready to take on the insurance companies on your behalf so you can focus on healing from your injuries. Let us be your advocates in supporting you through a difficult time. We’re here to protect your rights to receive the maximum compensation you are entitled to.

Contact Meyerkord & Kurth today at (800) 391-4318 to learn more about filing a car accident claim.

Share To: