5 Signs You’re a Bad Driver

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A man with long hair, a beard, and glasses leans out of his car window to yell at something in front of him.

If you’re constantly complaining about how terrible other drivers are on the road, there’s a good chance they’re not the problem. This only leaves one person left to blame: you.

Being honest with yourself may be challenging, but being a bad driver can be dangerous. To keep you and others safe on the road, we’re going to share five signs that you’re a bad driver. Let’s take a look!

Can You Be a Naturally Bad Driver?

Driving is a learned behavior that requires specific skills that take time to develop. Most people are bad drivers when they learn to drive, but their skills grow the more they drive. Traffic and road conditions constantly change, so driving in various traffic and road conditions can be a great way to grow your skills.

A woman with eyes wide and her palm on her forehead out of frustration as she drives

5 Signs You’re a Bad Driver

If you’re a bad driver, there’s a good chance a spouse or significant other has informed you more than once when it comes to your bad driving skills. If that’s not enough, let’s look at five signs you might be a bad driver!

#1. Other Drivers Honk at You Frequently

Do you find that other drivers are often honking at you? If so, that’s a good indication that you’re doing it wrong when it comes to driving. People generally don’t honk for fun but often do so to alert you of your bad driving behavior. You could be driving too fast, drifting into their lane, or not following other road rules or etiquette.

Understandably, drivers want to be safe on the roads. They want to get to where they’re going, just as much as you want to get to where you’re going. So if people are regularly honking at you, it might be wise to work on your driving skills.

#2. You Get Pulled Over and Ticketed Often

If others’ honking isn’t enough to get your attention, there’s a good chance law enforcement will. If they pull you over frequently to ticket you, you’re probably a bad driver. This can be an expensive way to learn how to drive. It may be better to pay for driving lessons instead of constantly paying traffic tickets or citations.

Receiving too many tickets can hurt your insurance premiums. Having a driver’s license is a privilege and not a right, which means they can take it away. If law enforcement or the courts think you’re too much of a risk to others on the road, they can suspend or revoke your driver’s license.

A police office at the window of a passenger vehicle asking for a woman's driver's license.

Driving Tip: We all know speeding can land you with a ticket, but are you familiar with this move over law that could do the same? 

#3. Your Vehicle Has Several Dents

The scratches and dents on your vehicle serve as chapters that tell your vehicle’s unique story. Large amounts of dents and scratches typically mean your vehicle has made contact with things. While dents will likely decrease your vehicle’s value, several dents can serve as a warning sign for other drivers around you to keep away.

#4. People Refuse to Ride With You

If you’ve ever ridden with a bad driver, it can be terrifying. You may even feel like your life flashes before your eyes as you hold on to the door handle. Once people realize you’re a bad driver, they’re probably going to refuse rides from you. They may opt to drive themselves or ride with others instead of hopping in your vehicle.

If you find people are refusing to ride with you, don’t take it personally. You’re in charge of your own driving skills, and it’s up to you to improve. You shouldn’t be upset with people for putting their safety as a priority

#5. You’re Prone to Road Rage

Yelling, screaming, and aggression are all good indications that you have a road rage issue. If you’re finding yourself frequently upset with others around you while driving, you may need to check your driving habits. There’s a good chance that you’re the one driving poorly and that you’re the one with the problem.

A man driving with his hands up in frustration as he is stuck in traffice.

Can You Become a Better Driver?

You can become a better driver by driving more. When you’re comfortable behind the wheel, you’re a more confident driver. Confidence allows you to think clearly and make decisions quickly, which are both requirements to be a good driver.

If you want to become a better driver, you must do a bit of self-reflection. You need to own any weaknesses you may have that cause you to drive poorly. Being in a bad mood or having a negative attitude when you hit the road can cause you to react in ways that you wouldn’t otherwise. So make sure you’re mentally ready to drive before hitting the road.

How to Be a Better Driver

If you want to improve your driving skills, here are a handful of tips that can help. Let’s take a look!

Follow Traffic Laws

To be a better driver, you have to know and follow the local traffic laws. Be aware of and follow the posted speed limits too. Driving too fast is a surefire way to make a dangerous mistake. The faster you drive, the longer it will take for you to stop, which can mean rear-ending the car in front of you or hitting an obstacle in the road.

Don’t Drive Distracted

Distracted driving is incredibly dangerous, whether you’re trying to answer your phone, read a text message, or watch a video. Distracted driving claims more than 3,000 lives each year. Your attention should be on the road and driving, no matter how good or bad of a driver you think you are.

Many modern vehicles will even disable certain phone features if you connect your phone to the vehicle while driving. If your phone doesn’t have a “safe driving” setting, it may be worth putting your phone on silent or in a place out of reach or sight while driving. Keeping yourself and others safe on the road is more important than any text or phone call.

A man driving a car with a puppy in his lap.

Be Patient

It’s easy to get impatient with other drivers. They may not drive exactly how you want them to, but being impatient isn’t going to change that. Impatience can cause road rage situations that can escalate quickly. Your impatience can also fluster the drivers around you and be a distraction for them. This can cause them to make decisions they wouldn’t make if it weren’t for your impatience.

Cut the drivers around you some slack and take a deep breath. Developing your patience can be difficult, but it’s necessary to be a good driver.

Slow Down

It can be very easy to get in a hurry. Trying to make up for lost time as a result of leaving late is never a good idea. The speed limit isn’t just a suggestion; it’s the law. To be a good driver, you need to follow all local traffic laws, including the speed limit. So back off of that lead foot and slow down. It may take you a few minutes longer to get there, but you’re more likely to get there safely.

Driving Tip: Road safety starts even before you turn the key, and what vehicle you drive might impact how safe you are on the interstate.

Being a Good Driver Takes Practice

Being a bad driver is something that almost anyone can overcome. Whether it requires you to practice more or take some anger management classes, you need to be the best driver you can be. Doing so helps ensure you and others get to your destinations with as little drama as possible.

Do you consider yourself a good driver? What about your spouse or significant other?

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