As your years as a driver multiply, your sense of comfort with doing multiple tasks behind the wheel may increase. However, if you aren’t careful, you can develop bad driving habits. And bad driving habits can lead to a traffic citation, time and money spent on court, and even worse, a collision or accident. These days keeping your eyes on the road is becoming more and more essential not only to preserve your driving record, but possibly, your life.
While you may feel confident that you can juggle two things at once while driving, it’s bad practice for you to become so distracted that you lose focus on the primary reason for being in the vehicle: Driving.
Are you guilty of these bad habits?
All drivers make mistakes every now and then, but below are some of the bad habits that can be detrimental to a driver at any given time:
1. Talking and texting
If your mobile phone rings, it’s difficult to resist the urge to let it go into voice mail. If someone sends you a text, you feel you have to respond, but actually, you do not. These days cell phones have a lot of hands free options as well, such as voice recognition and speaker phone.
2. Eating and drinking
Eating food and sipping a soda or coffee requires taking at least one hand off of the steering wheel, although some drivers can manage driving with no hands! Eating and drinking, while manageable, is not advisable.
Of all the infractions that can get you cited, “speeding is the most common infringement,” says one Orlando speeding ticket attorney. Crank up your CD player or MP3 player and it is easy to speed down the road in sync with the drum beats of your favorite tunes. Be conscious of your music choices and pick something that doesn’t cater to your aggressive side. Running late to work or to an appointment is another reason why drivers feel a need to speed. Give yourself plenty of time to make it to scheduled appointments or engagements.
Are those flashing lights behind me?
These and other bad driving habits can prompt police to give you a citation or possibly worse. In some states, texting and driving is a secondary offense, which means that the police officers have to stop you for a primary offense, such as speeding. So if a police officer actually witnesses you speeding and texting, you are going to get at least one ticket, maybe two.
But there are times when police officers cite you for reasons that you may want to challenge, such as making a prohibited left turn, but the “No Left Turn” sign was hidden by tree leaves.
Getting a ticket means that points will go on your driver’s record, and your car insurance company will increase your insurance costs. If you received a ticket but had a legitimate reason for driving the way you did, you can challenge the fine in court.
How do you challenge a traffic ticket?
Your issued citation will have the date, time and location of the court in which you can challenge the ticket. But, you must be prepared to go into traffic court and defend yourself. If going at it alone places too much stress on you, consider hiring a traffic ticket attorney to represent you.
Traffic ticket attorneys can explain to a judge your situation and state of mind that caused you to react the way you did. For example, you may have been speeding to get a pregnant passenger to the hospital before she delivered her baby in your car. Whatever the issue, any experienced defense attorney, whether it’s an Orlando speeding ticket attorney or one from Seattle, will search for ways to either reduce the penalty or get the ticket dismissed.
In the meantime, determine to become a safe driver by eliminating your bad habits. Resist the urge to text and talk. Slow down and maintain your speed. If at all possible, eat and drink before you leave home. Keep your eyes on the road and you will avoid having to see flashing lights in your rear-view mirror.