Driving is an inextricable part of our everyday lives, whether motorist or pedestrian. Indeed, road-based vehicles accounted for 93% of all travel in the UK in 2020. With driving crucial for daily commutes and cross-country trips alike, it is true that many motorists can become lax in their habits – but driving unsafely can have immeasurable consequences. Safe driving can save time, money, and above all, lives; here is how.
The Devastating Impact of Car Accidents
First and foremost, dangerous driving is a leading cause of road casualties. According to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, speeding alone was responsible for 27% of fatal collisions in 2020; speeding is just one in a large number of dangerous driving actions and habits that can cause significant risk to life on the road.
It is easy to take for granted the danger of a car accident, but even slow-speed collisions can have a devastating impact. As such, it is incumbent on you as a driver to avoid the possibility of a life-changing accident, such as a brain injury.
Dangerous Driving and Car Condition
While the risk of accident and injury is by far and away the most important reason to drive safely, there are a number of other benefits attached to doing so. For one, safe driving practices can significantly extend the life of your car.
Aggressive acceleration and late, sharp braking can tax your brakes, shortening their lifespan and increasing the risk of failure on the road. Late braking and lack of care when driving on uneven roads can both contribute to damaging your suspension, which can lead to extensive and costly repairs in the future. For driving technique will stress your engine, making it more likely that you will overheat or suffer catastrophic engine failure.
Driving Safely is Driving Economically
The costs of repairs aside, there are other economic benefits to being more careful when driving. Dangerous driving habits such as needless acceleration contribute to a poor fuel economy and can greatly increase your monthly petrol bill – which is already a growing expense, owing to the rising cost of fuel. Safer driving can also get you a cheaper insurance premium, especially if you install a dashcam or consent to the installation of a ‘black box’.
Legal Ramifications for Dangerous Driving
There is, of course, a legal element to safe driving. ‘Dangerous driving’ is a criminal offence, as is ‘careless or inconsiderate driving’ – both of which have broad definitions that encompass a wide range of driving habits and actions.
Careless or inconsiderate driving describes poor driving habits that amount to a lack of consideration for other road users, from overtaking on the inside lane to making simple mistakes in the flow of traffic. Meanwhile, dangerous driving covers speeding and conscious failures to adhere to traffic laws. Both can easily result in preventable deaths, and both can come with custodial sentences.