When you say “negligent driving”, what often comes to mind is a driver who is driving while intoxicated or someone who drives while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Although DUIs and DWIs are often classified under “negligence”, there are still many ways wherein a driver or car owner can be negligent.
1. When a driver does other things apart from driving
A vehicle operator needs to concentrate with his driving because inattention can lead to serious mishaps, which could result in loss of life. It is the responsibility of drivers to be safe and to keep other vehicle operators and pedestrians out of harm’s way. Therefore, it’s important for drivers to avoid any type of visual or cognitive distraction. The difference between the two is that the former occurs when a driver looks or glances at something else; thus, his eyes stray away from the road. As for the latter, this is when a driver’s eyes may be on the road but his thoughts are somewhere else, which happens when a person talks on the phone or listens to something. Distracted driving also includes using mobile phones or smartphones, PDAs or laptops while driving. Other distractions are eating, drinking, playing, listening to loud or booming music, as well as reading.
2. When a car owner fails to properly maintain his automobile
Improper vehicle care is also considered as negligent, particularly if a car owner is aware of the dangers involved. For instance, if a person still uses his car even though he knows that its breaks are faulty, its engines aren’t running well or its tires need to be replaced, then he can be sued for negligence when an accident occurs. Proper vehicle maintenance is vital especially since a number of road mishaps can be avoided if individuals only pay attention to their cars to ensure that everything is in good condition.
3. When a car owner lends his auto to a reckless, unfit or known negligent driver
A car is a person’s responsibility. This means that he must also make sure that the person that he allows to drive his car must possess a valid driver’s license and that this individual should also be a reliable driver. A vehicle owner is being negligent if he allows an inebriated individual to operate his vehicle. It is also better to keep car keys away from the elderly, inexperienced and unlicensed drivers.
4. When a person drives a car when sleepy or exhausted
A person who forces himself to operate a vehicle knowing that he may fall asleep behind the wheel is also being negligent. Therefore, it’s vital for drivers, particularly truck drivers who go on long road trips, to have adequate rest and sleep. It is also a good idea to use stay awake driver alarms. These are gadgets that can sense when a person is nodding off and when they do, they release alarms to wake a driver up.
5. When a driver chooses to ignore traffic lights or road signs
Many times, going over the speed limit, tailgating or changing lanes abruptly has caused road mishaps. Others have gotten into accidents for ignoring warning signs as well. Thus, it is important to follow traffic regulations and to pay attention to road signs to avoid endangering self and others.
The writer, Claire Flint, regularly writes about car accidents and auto maintenance. She blogs for several known auto maintenance companies, such as AWS Automotive.