Five Deadly Mistakes That Drivers Make

Forbes recently published an article discussing deadly mistakes that drivers make that cost lives. Here are the highlights:

The number one killer of drivers is driving while drunk. According to statistics cited by Forbes, roughly 32% of the 41,059 people killed in car crashes last year died as a result of a vehicle operator having a blood alcohol concentration of .08–the legal limit in many states–or higher.

Every bit as dangerous as drunken drivers are drivers who get behind the wheel when they're drowsy. A 2006 the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) study cited by Forbes says that moderate or severe drowsiness was cited as a factor in 22% to 24% of crashes. Studies also show that a driver who has been awake for 20 hours displays the same erratic and impaired behaviors as a driver with a blood alcohol level of .08.

Another deadly habit is multitasking while driving: talking on a phone, text messaging, eating, shaving, reading or applying makeup. A different study conducted by NHTSA found that driving while distracted was a contributing factor in 80% of crashes and 65% of near crashes.

Not wearing your seatbelt can also kill you. According to NHTSA estimates cited by Forbes, 270 lives are saved for every 1% increase in seatbelt use and, in 2007, an additional 5,024 lives would have been saved if all unrestrained car occupants involved in fatal crashes had worn their seatbelts. Similarly dangerous is driving without properly restraining children under the age of 14. Of the 6,532 of the children involved in fatal crashes, 45% were unrestrained.

The bottom line: don't engage in these deadly driving habits. It could save your life and the life of your loved ones.