You don’t check your mirrors enough
One of the biggest indicators that you might be a bad driver is that you don’t check your mirrors enough when you are on the road. The mirrors are there for a reason, and they help with things like spatial awareness, as well as keeping you safe and secure in your vehicle.
You’re not in control of the wheel
Not being in control of the vehicle is one of the most dangerous things when you are driving a car. It is essential that you keep your hands on the wheel at all times in order to keep you and other road users safe. Bad drivers tend to let this basic, essential principle slip, whether that’s due to dangerous over-confidence or complete incompetence.
You’re not focused on the road
Focusing on the road is also a key part of the process when you want to stay safe as a driver. It may sound obvious but, if you are focusing on other things, you are more likely to be in a position where you may run into accidents. If this is the case, you’re certainly going to be making the road a more dangerous place for other drivers.
You drive in the wrong gear
Finding the right gear is something that you need to be doing as a natural part of the driving process. If you find you’re in the wrong gear, there are a lot of issues that may arise as a result. One of the main ones is the potential damage it can cause to your vehicle – further increasing the likelihood of any potential accidents.
You don’t get how intersection works
In the US, our road systems rely on intersections that divide the road and allow drivers to move in different directions. They are an integral part of road safety and awareness but, if you don’t know how they work, they can be quite dangerous. Make sure you familiarize yourself with how intersections work as soon as you can to not only become a good driver, but a safe one.
You park in gear
One of the worst habits that a lot of drivers pick up is that they wind up parking in gear. This isn’t necessarily a major problem if it’s second nature to you but, if someone else is going to drive your car, starting it in gear without realising could cause a few issues for the vehicle – and a real fright when they suddenly lurch forward!
Reversing is your achilles heel
Reversing is an essential part of the driving process. Going backwards can feel unnatural but it’s really something you need to sort out as a driver. Struggling to reverse is only going to set you back (pun not intended) and make driving a more difficult, not to mention dangerous, process.
People keep beeping at you
If you find that other drivers keep beeping their horns at you, honking at you, or even worse, this is not a good sign – especially if you can’t figure out why. Looking at how the other drivers on the road are behaving toward you is a good indicator of the kind of driver you are. If you’re being given a beep and the occasional middle finger, it can tell you a lot.
You’re not respecting the road
You need to make sure you are respecting the road as often as possible. Whilst unfamiliar territory may prove difficult to drive through, ensure you are taking signs and signals into consideration, as well as those around you. If you lack this basic respect for your surroundings, you are unlikely to be safe or responsible behind the wheel.
You run a red light
Running a red light is not something you want to make a habit of. Not only is it illegal, with the potential to leave you with a hefty fine or worse, they are also a key part of staying safe on the road. They prevent collisions with oncoming traffic and ensure pedestrians can cross only when it’s safe to do so. Stop at all red lights – lives depend on it.
You’re not wearing your seatbelt
Something else that might be a key indicator that you are a bad driver is the fact that you’re not wearing a seatbelt. Again, not only is this illegal, but also incredibly unsafe. Put your seatbelt on as soon as you get into the vehicle and ensure that all passengers do the same. You should not be moving anywhere until everybody is safe and secure.
Driving under the influence
Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is never okay – there is a reason this is illegal. You may think you can have a couple and still be fine but this kind of behaviour is reckless, dangerous and outright selfish. Perhaps the biggest indicator that you’re a bad driver and a tell-tale sign that you’re a terrible person overall.
You’ve been in a few accidents
If you have been in a few accidents in your life, this could point to the fact that you’re not a particularly good driver. Accidents happen and it’s likely that all drivers will have at least one in their lives but, if this is a common occurrence for you and they always seem to be your fault, then it might be time to take a look in the mirror.
There are points on your license
Bad drivers tend to be involved in more incidents on the road than good drivers, which can obviously lead to points on the license. If you have a few points on your license, perhaps more than other people you know, it could be a strong indication that you’re not a good driver and could do with brushing up on your skills.
Signalling is one of the key elements of driving in a safe and responsible manner. It is important for communicating your intentions to other drivers, as well as giving you direction on the road. Make sure you are signalling properly and when you need to be to help you be a safer, better road user.
Driving too fast
If you’re driving too fast, it can be an indicator that you are a bad driver – not to mention being reckless and irresponsible. The speed limit is there for a reason and you need to make sure you adhere to it at all times when you are behind the wheel. It is your responsibility to do all you can to reduce the risk of accidents.
Driving too slow
On the other hand, driving too slowly is something that can also be very dangerous, particularly if you’re on the freeway at the time. Again, the speed limit is there for a reason and adhering to it also covers going too slow. It ensures safety and efficiency on the road, as well as respect for your fellow drivers, so this is something that you need focus on.
Stalling your vehicle is, of course, not something that you’re going to be doing intentionally – but it can still be indicative of a poor driver. You have to try to make sure you keep your car running smoothly on the road at all times. This keeps you safe, secure, and not in the way of other drivers.
Not parking neatly
Parking is a huge part of the driving process, especially when you’re looking to improve your control of the vehicle. Parking in a lopsided or slap-dash manner is one of the worst things you can do when it comes to trying to look after your car. Poor parking skills increase the likelihood of scratches or dents, as well as getting in the way of your fellow drivers.
Riding the clutch
”Riding the clutch’ is the act of leaving a level of pressure on the clutch, even when the vehicle is in gear – something that you need to avoid. It can be damaging to the clutch itself, as well as making your car less safe on the road at the same time.
‘Taxi stops’ are simply the name for when you bring the car to a halt using a lot of break pressure, something that is incredibly bad for the vehicle. Not only that, but it can also be dangerous for other road users, as sudden stops like this do not give them adequate time to prepare and respond.
Wasting too much fuel
There are a lot of other, slightly less dangerous, indicators that you could be a bad driver – one of the main ones is that you’re wasting too much fuel. Driving in the wrong gear makes you inefficient on the roads and, in turn, leads you to wasting a whole lot of fuel. This is harmful to your bank balance and the planet, indicating you drive in an irresponsible fashion.
Using up your air conditioning
Air conditioning is something that all modern cars have and it can be a godsend in hot weather! However, if you are using your vehicle’s air con too much, it can be known to strain the engine and reduce fuel efficiency. Whilst it doesn’t directly impact your driving capabilities, it suggests a lack of care for your car – potentially indicative of other poor driving habits.
Making unnecessary stops is not every economical for your fuel consumption and is also something that can endanger other drivers if you pull over in unsafe places. So, in order to make sure you focus on being better and more efficient on the road, you should plan your stops in advance in order to reduce the number of unnecessary stops you’re making.
Holding the steering wheel wrong
Holding the steering wheel incorrectly is something that can be quite dangerous, and this is going to leave you in difficulties on the road. The ten and two or the nine and three positions on the steering wheel, as if your hands are the hands of a clock, are typically considered to be the correct way to keep you in control of the car.
Fiddling with the gear lever too much
You shouldn’t keep your hand on the gear lever when you are driving, as this can be damaging for the vehicle. Resting your hand on the gear stick applies pressure to the selector fork and can be damaging for the transmission, so you need to avoid doing this as much as possible.
Harsh driving is also something that you need to avoid if you want to be a better driver. Harsh drivers are often critical of others, so much so that they don’t pay enough attention to themselves, as well as often being erratic. Being more careful and sensible on the road is the best way of being able to improve your driving skills and make you a better and more competent driver.
Following too close
via GETTY IMAGES
Following too closely behind other vehicles is also an indicator that you are not a good driver. This is something that you need to try to avoid as much as you can and be sure that you leave an adequate gap between yourself and the vehicle in front of you, just in case they have to slow down or stop suddenly.
Not paying close attention to the weather
Ignoring what the weather is doing is also something that can create problems for a lot of drivers. You need to be aware of how the weather is going to impact the road and your ability as a driver. It’s something that you need to try to get right if you want to improve for your own sake, as well as other drivers.
Being aware of your surroundings is also essential and poor observational skills is a key component of a bad driver. You have to work on what you can do to make sure you are more observant on the roads, as well as doing what you can to make sure you are safer and more responsible on the road.
Distractions can come in many shapes and forms when you are driving, and these need to be avoided as much as possible. Whether it’s your cell phone, radio, or conversation, there are quite a few distractions that drivers face that can divert their attention away from the road.
Thinking like a ‘weekend driver’
Weekend drivers tend to be notoriously bad, particularly when faced with rush hour levels of traffic, so thinking the way they do is likely to make you a bad driver. Weekend drivers tend to lack an understanding of the road and think ahead less. This can lead them into problems and frustrations in the future.
Using your phone whilst driving
Using your phone when driving is actually a very common problem that a lot of drivers fall foul of. This is something you need to avoid entirely – it completely detracts your attention from the road and other road users around you. Just as you should limit other distractions as much as possible, you should never use your phone whilst driving.
You’re overly emotional
Being overly emotional is something else that can cause you a lot of difficulties on the road and potentially land you in hot water. Getting overly emotional typically means you aren’t thinking clearly, either reading too much into the reactions of other drivers or not caring at all. It makes you more prone to things like road rage and other outbursts.
You don’t know the rules of the road
Not being clear about the rules of the road is one of the biggest issues that you need to contend with as a driver. Try to make sure you familiarize yourself with the rules of the road at all times, so that you know your rights, as well as what is and isn’t allowed when it comes to driving.
You don’t understand your vehicle’s limitations
Pushing your vehicle beyond its limits is typically the sign of a poor driver – something you need to avoid if you want your car to last for any length of time. You should be aware of what your vehicle is capable of and, more importantly, what it is not capable of. Respecting its limitations is a key part of being a good driver.
Shifting gears to reduce speed
Shifting gears to reduce speed might seem like no big deal at the time but, in reality, it’s actually the best way of damaging your drivetrain, particularly the clutch. This is something that you need to avoid as much as possible as it is not going to be good for your car in the long run.
Overloading your vehicle
Overloading your vehicle is not going to be good for it long-term, not to mention the fact it will be bad for fuel efficiency too. Working to avoid this is a core component of being a better driver, and coming up with options that will help you reduce the load of your vehicle is essential.
Hitting speed bumps too fast
Speed bumps exist for a reason, and they are meant to regulate your speed. Hitting speed bumps too fast is not only reckless and dangerous for other road users, it is also a great way of damaging your vehicle and causing a lot of potential long-term problems with it in the process.
Ignoring warning lights
Warning lights are there to tell you when you are facing setbacks, and when issues like low fuel or battery problems need to be addressed. Ignoring these warning lights is the absolute worst thing you can possibly do as a driver, and is probably an indicator that you are a bad driver.