What Types of Dangerous Drivers Are on the Road? We’ve all seen drivers do incredibly dangerous things on the roads and highways—zipping in and out of traffic, following just a couple of feet away from another car’s bumper, even passing on the shoulder. But what are the most common dangerous driving behaviors? Car and Driver developed a list (and Road and Track published a similar one): Driving under the influence: Drunk driving is the cause of the majority of traffic-related deaths. Speeding: Speeding is the number two cause of traffic fatalities. Driving tired: Driving while fatigued is almost as dangers as drunk driving. Factors that can lead to drowsy driving include insufficient sleep, driving patterns that interrupt normal sleep patterns (such as driving very late into the night or driving very early in the morning), and driving long distances. Other conditions, such as narcolepsy, sleep apnea, use of medications that cause drowsiness, or even minimal alcohol consumption also can contribute to drowsy driving. Reckless driving: Reckless driving is extremely dangerous and includes, among other things, swerving, weaving in and out of traffic, passing on the right, suddenly accelerating and braking, and even driving slowly in the left lane on the freeway. In many states, driving 20 miles per hour or more over the speed limit automatically constitutes reckless driving and can result in large fines, jail time, or both. Reckless driving is dangerous in part because reckless drivers are unpredictable. Predictable behavior by other drivers is important in avoiding accidents—if everyone follows traffic norms, fewer accidents happen. Failure to yield the right of way: This causes about a fourth of accidents involving younger drivers, but failure to yield causes a majority of accidents among drivers 70 and older, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Not wearing seatbelts: Despite seat belt laws in Illinois, some drivers and passengers will still either forgot or refuse to wear seat belts. This dramatically increases the risk of injuries in even minor accidents. Drafting behind tractor trailers: Following closely behind a tractor-trailer can increase your fuel economy, but highway driving isn’t NASCAR. Following closer than about 200 feet generally means the truck driver can’t see you, and at highway speeds that gives you about two seconds to react to sudden actions, such as braking, by the truck driver. Driving too fast for weather conditions: Nearly one-fourth of vehicle accidents are weather-related. Adverse weather can dramatically change road conditions, often impeding visibility or reducing pavement friction through rain, snow, ice, and sleet, with accompanying negative effects on vehicle stability, maneuverability and stopping ability. The best way to deal with all of these conditions: slow down. Distracted driving: According to the Centers for Disease Control, common tasks resulting in distracted driving include sending text messages, talking on cell phones, using a navigation systems, and eating while driving. The CDC considers sending a text to be the most distracting because it requires the driver to take eyes off the road, hands off the wheel, and mentally focus on something other than driving the vehicle—resulting in maximum distraction.