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Drivers and passengers can both affect road safety

Driving is a way of life for most people in the United States. Just about everyone has to get to work, get to school, get to their friends; and the best way to get there is usually in a car. Even if you are not a driver, you most likely carpool or receive rides from friends or relatives.

Statistics show that drivers make a lot of errors while on the road, though. Everything from one-off mistakes to deeply rooted bad habits cause millions of accidents each year. These are a few of the worst habits drivers should be aware of, and even how a passenger can make the road safer. 

Before we dive into the list, remember that if you are ever in an automobile accident, it is almost always in your best interests to enlist the aid of a professional attorney. A legal professional will shoulder the burden of speaking with the insurance companies, gathering evidence for your claim and many other things to help you get the highest award possible.

Don't ignore traffic lights

There are a lot of misconceptions about what running a red light actually is. A report by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety states that anyone who enters an intersection after the signal light has turned red is in violation of the law.

Red light runners are responsible for over 150,000 accidents each year and nearly 1000 deaths. Considering the average red light is less than 2 minutes, there is no excuse for running a red.

Remember to signal

It is one of the easiest things for a driver to do, yet it is one of the most overlooked - using the turn signal. As reported by AutoGuide, the US Department of Transportation pinpointed nearly 1 million accidents caused by people not using their blinkers - twice as many as those caused by distracted driving - and the actual number may be closer to 2 million.

Passengers should speak up

We've all heard that nobody likes a backseat driver, but passengers speaking up when the driver is driving poorly can make a major difference to road safety. If you need to call out your driver, do so directly but with tact. Let them know that it makes you nervous when they text and drive or that they speed.

If they don't take the criticism well, consider subtle comments like saying you've seen a lot of cops on the road that day. If things still don't improve, or worse, they respond aggressively to you, it may be time to find a new person to ride with.

Road safety is everyone's responsibility. If you are usually the driver, remember that if everyone did things as obvious as not running red lights and signaling before a turn or lane change it would mean millions of less accidents and thousands fewer deaths each year. If you're the passenger, don't be afraid to speak up.

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