Here are the things you sometimes do (you know you do) that drastically hike your chances of having an accident.
Talking or texting
Nearly 80 percent of crashes involve driver inattention, and one of the primary causes isyou guessed itusing a cell phone. Texting while driving is also a deadly trend, especially among teens.
Letting the sun shine in
Sunglasses reduce glare and prevent your eyes from tiring. Keep an extra pair in the car, or don a cap with a bill (like racing pros do) to block direct sunlight.
Driving over the speed limit nearly triples your risk of being involved in a crash. Speeding is also a factor in almost one-third of all fatal car accidents.
Wearing bad shoes
Forget spiked heels (the heel can slide under pedals) and flip-flops and clogs (they fall off easily). Shoes should stay on your feet and offer good traction on pedals. “Low-top shoes with pliable, thin soles and smooth, rounded heels give you the best control,” says Mark Cox, director of the Bridgestone Winter Driving School in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.
Not buckling up
No matter the length of the trip or what youre wearing (your linen jacket will survive a few wrinkles), buckling up is a must if you want to stay alive in an accident. In 2006, more than 50 percent of passengers killed in car crashes were not wearing seat belts; 31 percent of all drivers killed also didnt buckle up.
Driving while drowsy
Getting behind the wheel when youre sleep deprived or driving long distances nonstop puts you at risk: Some 100,000 accidents are linked to driver fatigue, killing an estimated 1,550 people each year.
Not paying attention
Giving yourself a makeup check, yelling at the kids, eating those French fries, changing a CDthey all take your eyes off of the road. All it takes is just two seconds of distraction to double your risk of crashing or having a close call.