3 Oct 2017

The most common mistakes when driving

Mistakes are often made unconsciously when driving. And many drivers do not really realize what might happen as a result.

Even small things which are done incorrectly when driving can have fatal results for the vehicle, the driver, passengers or other road users.

Drivers are often not aware that their behavior might have negative results. To make drivers aware of the most common mistakes and thus help prevent them, we have created a list:


Incorrect footwear

They are really popular, especially in summer: flip-flops. When the weather is hot, they adorn the feet of nearly all men and women.

But what might seem like a good idea to help keep cool is not a good idea when driving.

In a survey, 25% of those questioned admitted to having got their flip-flops caught beneath the car mats. And 20% even admit to having slipped off the pedal due to this type of footwear.

Therefore, take another pair of shoes with you in summer (sneakers, closed sandals, etc.) so that you can be sure that you can drive safely.

Continual braking downhill

Cars start to move faster when they go downhill. Most drivers counteract this by constantly braking lightly over the whole distance.

But this is not at all good for the brakes of the car. Through the continual braking, the brake disks can easily overheat.

It is better to shift to a lower gear. By doing so, the braking effect of the engine slows the car down by itself.

If this is not sufficient, then let the car roll and brake more strongly intermittently. This is better for the brakes.


Continual changing of lanes in traffic jams

Everyone knows the feeling: you’re stuck in traffic and it seems as though all the other lanes are moving forward more quickly than yours. This tempts drivers to change lanes more frequently.

But this doesn’t actually help at all. You not only make yourself unpopular with the drivers behind you but, by changing from lane to lane, you actually contribute to the traffic jam.


Arguing when driving

For your own good, the car should be an argument-free zone. According to experts, ten percent of all accidents are caused  by distractions when driving.

Of course, this figure refers not only to arguments, but they are more often the cause of accidents than you might imagine.


Shifting into reverse too early

This mistake happens often when trying to park into a roadside space – the vehicle is put into reverse before it has fully stopped moving.

This is bad for the car, regardless of whether it is a manual or automatic transmission. In the worst case, it may even lead to engine damage.

Turning the steering wheel when standing still

Whenever possible, you should avoid turning the steering wheel when the car is not moving.

When standing still, the steering forces are much greater, which leads to increased wear to the tires.


Incorrectly adjusted seat

What might, at first, sound rather petty can have serious effects in the case of an accident. For example, in an accident where the airbag deploys.

Hence, you really should take the time to correctly adjust the seat before anything happens. You can read how to correctly adjust the seat here.


Feet on the dashboard

You often see this, above all, at vacation time: people who have made themselves really comfortable in the car with their legs and feet casually propped on the dashboard – it is, after all, quite pleasant.

But this could end fatally as the airbag could again here cause a disaster. If it were to deploy during an accident, then the feet and legs would be catapulted towards the rib cage. This could lead to broken bones, bruising and other, more serious injuries.

Snow on the roof

When scratching the ice from the car, remember to remove the snow from the roof.

If you don’t, then there is the danger that the snow will slide down over the windshield when braking and thus hinder the sight of the driver.

Not to mention that anyone driving with snow on the roof can for example incur a €25 fine in Germany.

Storing items on the rear parcel shelf

Items lying on the rear parcel shelf of a car will be catapulted forwards with enormous power if you brake sharply.

A 300 gram umbrella, for example, develops a weight of 15 kg during an impact at a speed of 50 mp/h.


Have you noticed any other mistakes that you or others repeatedly make?