Bad Driving Habits Florida Teens Should Avoid
There’s nothing quite as exciting as getting a driver’s license the first time. The simple ability to get on the open Florida road unfettered, without supervision, is an exhilarating feeling of freedom.
But before that feeling of euphoria gets too out of hand, don’t forget that the ability to drive is a privilege, not a right – and with it comes a series of safe driving responsibilities.
Taking Florida drivers ed may give all the proper information regarding safe driving practices, but no matter how safe a driver is, they may fall victim to any set of bad driving habits that occur as a result of unsupervised driving.
Road Rage and Aggressive Driving
Aggressive driving is an ever-growing issue on the road that affects novice and experienced drivers alike. No amount of responsibility, experience, or memorization of traffic laws will make you any less susceptible to anger on the road. Everybody has bad days, after all, and combining a sour mood with potentially unsafe drivers on the highways can result in a dangerously heated atmosphere on the freeways.
Road rage and aggressive driving consists of misdirected stress and frustration that one may encounter throughout the course of a day. Symptoms include:
- Having thoughts of harm or violence toward others on the road.
- Verbally expressing displeasure at other drivers.
- Not obeying traffic safety rules because you’re in a hurry or out of frustration.
- Engaging in unsafe driving practices, such as speeding, tailgating, weaving, and using the horn excessively.
Avoiding thoughts of aggression on the road can be trying, especially in the heat of the moment, but there can be ways to manage that frustration:
- Make sure you’re comfortable in your car. A/C on, favorite music on the radio, etc.
- Try to be courteous at all times. Avoid conflict, especially if another driver challenges you.
- Maintain safe driving practices. Use your signal, follow the speed limit, and keep a safe distance to the vehicles in front of you.
- Empathize with any other drivers on the road. Everyone is allowed to have a bad day.
As you may have learned in your TLSAE Drug and Alcohol course, there is perhaps no other driving habit that is as rampant (or as disruptive) as distracted driving. After all, maintaining constant focus on the road can be a trying ordeal, especially if you’re stuck in traffic or have already been in a long commute. Distracted driving can consist of the following:
- Using your phone
- Eating and drinking
- Getting in an argument with your passengers
- Having something obstructing your vision
- Having your music on too loud
Distracted driving can even be mental – consider how many drivers hit the road preoccupied, with something heavy weighing on their mind? Marriage, kids, the stresses of a new job – these can all contribute to a non-optimal driving condition.
Try to keep these distractions to a minimum:
- Keep the cell phone out of reach – if you simply can’t get off your phone, physically remove it and place it somewhere inconvenient, like your purse in the backseat or in the glove compartment box.
- Keep the music low – if the car next to you can hear your tunes, chances are it’s probably too loud.
- Drive well-rested – drowsy driving counts as distracted driving, and in some cases it can be just as bad as driving while intoxicated. Pull over to the side of the road for a quick power nap if you find your eyelids getting heavy.
- Stow the food until you’re home – both of your hands should be on the wheel and not in your lunch.
These bad driving habits may not seem like a big deal, but one accident or close call is all it takes to realize just how disruptive they can be to your driving safety and road awareness.