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Why Do People Drive Dangerously?

As you likely know, not everyone on the road is a safe driver. Considering road safety is a responsibility that every driver must uphold, this is concerning because it puts you and anyone else near an unsafe driver in danger.

Despite this, many people drive unsafely for one reason or another. Unsafe driving can appear in many different ways, one of the most obvious behaviors including speeding.

While speeding may seem fun and harmless, it’s deadly and directly increases the chances of an accident. To put things into perspective, speeding accounts for one-third of fatalities in the U.S.

This shows that dangerous driving habits like speeding are significant and will result in serious consequences if not avoided. However, not everyone intentionally drives poorly.

Many different reasons cause people to drive dangerously. We’ll take a look at a few of the most common reasons below.

Misjudgment of Driving Skills

One of the most common reasons for dangerous driving is the misjudgment of driving skills.

This usually happens when someone assumes they are a better driver than their skills dictate. This overconfidence leads to the belief that they can drive their car more dangerously and get away with it.

The problem with overconfidence is dangerous drivers that speed and rapidly change lanes are often poor drivers. As a result, they fail to realize how much less control they have over their vehicle and how their survival is more about luck than anything else.

Dangerous drivers often don’t have the skills to control their car and the people around them aren’t expecting their reckless behavior, which directly leads to accidents.

Furthermore, many overconfident drivers assume that other drivers are bad at driving. While this may be true in some situations, the blanket assumption is false.

This can lead to situations where a dangerous driver knows their behavior is wrong but thinks it’s okay because they think they’re a better driver.

Putting this all together, the flawed perceptions that other drivers have about both their and other drivers’ driving abilities makes them dangerous.

Impatience

Impatience also causes drivers to behave dangerously.

Most impatient drivers are in a rush. Whether they’re running late or in danger of being late, they may drive dangerously as a result of their rush.

The most common example of this is speeding. Most speeders believe that going a few miles faster than the speed limit will get them to their destination faster.

While they may save a few minutes if they are lucky, realistically they won’t save much time at all. The timing of traffic lights and short distances many people travel results in minimal time savings.

That said, it makes you feel like you’re getting to your destination faster when you speed. This feeling is why many drivers choose to speed. Unfortunately, speeding is a factor in most car accidents because it results in a lack of control and reduced time to react.

Few drivers have an abundance of patience, particularly because of how aggravating driving can be. This impatience is highly dangerous when it causes drivers to make rash and rushed decisions that endanger others.

Boredom

Another factor leading to poor driving is boredom.

Once you’ve been driving for enough years, driving ceases to be exciting. Especially if you drive daily to commute to work, it can become routine and something that doesn’t require much thought.

In other words, you can become complacent due to driving the same route and performing the same maneuvers every day. Repetition is one of the best ways to make someone bored.

Even though driving requires intense focus, you can still get bored because you’ve already done it so many times before. Boredom has a powerful pull that makes you susceptible to distractions and losing focus.

Because of this, many drivers choose to space out or engage in distractions. The best example of this is smartphone use. Using your smartphone in any way while driving is highly dangerous because it diverts your attention from the road.

Between distracted driving and being generally disinterested, other drivers won’t be fully watching the road and this causes mistakes that are hazardous to those around them.

Another side to this is that dangerous driving can be thrilling to some people. Being behind the wheel of a car can feel like a video game and going fast can certainly get your heart racing.

Thrill-seekers are less common, but they do still affect many public roadways with their recklessness.

Boredom may seem harmless, but it directly leads to poor and dangerous driving due to distraction and loss of focus.

Stress

A final significant cause of dangerous driving involves stress.

Your state of mind while driving is incredibly important. It’s why you can’t drive while intoxicated or fatigued. Your driving skills are impaired and your judgment is poor.

Similarly, being stressed also makes for poor driving and dangerous behavior. When someone has a bad day, they may feel frustrated and take it out on the road.

A good example of this involves work frustrations. Making a significant mistake or not receiving a promotion can cause someone to get extremely upset.

When they drive home, they may choose to speed to get home faster. They may also cut off other drivers and experience road rage because of their underlying anger.

Many people neglect their mood and state of mind before driving. It’s easy to overlook because your focus is typically on getting to your destination and not about how you feel.

With this in mind, many other drivers are dangerous because of the daily stress they experience.

Closing Thoughts

Dangerous drivers are nuisances of the road. Their inconsiderate behavior is unpredictable and causes drastic reactions and accidents.

Unfortunately, people drive dangerously for many different reasons. Some of the most common causes include misjudging driving skills, impatience, boredom, and stress.

While it’s simple to be a dangerous driver, being a safe driver is what everyone should strive for. You can’t affect other drivers on the road, but you can avoid them and ensure that you drive safely!