Common Forms of Driver Negligence

Monday, April 27, 2020

Common Forms of Driver Negligence

Written by Malman Law, reviewed by Steve J. Malman.

While pretty much everyone believes they are a good driver, it is clear that some of the people who think that are wrong. The things you often see other drivers doing on the road make it seem impossible that they ever passed a road test. But there they are, behind the wheel, practically begging to be in a traffic accident. The truth is, there are some pretty common behaviors of negligent drivers that drive the traffic accident rate. They’re easy to spot, too, at least from the outside of the negligent driver’s car. If you meet up with one of these negligent drivers and wind up in a traffic accident, consult with a Chicago car accident attorney.

There’s a Consensus on Leading Negligent Driver Behaviors

It seems that most authorities agree on the worst of negligent driving activities. One major automotive publication published a list of the nine most dangerous behaviors of negligent drivers. Probably not coincidentally, the list included five of the top forms of risky driving identified by the federal government and was almost identical to a list put out by another major automotive publication. The lists included:

  1. Driving while impaired – whether it is drugs or alcohol, impaired driving is the leading cause of traffic accident fatalities;
  2. Speeding, the second-leading cause of traffic deaths;
  3. Driving while drowsy, which the federal government calls almost as dangerous as driving while impaired; 
  4. Reckless driving, which can include speeding, weaving in and out of traffic, passing on the right, passing on the shoulder of the road, accelerating and braking suddenly, and even driving slowly in the left lane on the freeway. 
  5. Failure to yield the right of way, which is responsible for about a quarter of accidents involving younger drivers but a majority of accidents among drivers 70 and older.
  6. Not wearing a seatbelt.
  7. Following too close behind tractor-trailers. 
  8. Driving too fast for the weather conditions, as nearly a quarter of traffic accidents are weather-related.
  9. Distracted driving, including texting or talking on the phone, eating while driving, or even using the vehicle navigation system.

It would appear that insurance agents agree, as an insurance publication put out a similar list that included:

    1. Tailgating;
    2. Distracted driving;
    3. Abnormally slow driving, which can be just as dangerous for other drivers as speeding; 
    4. Speeding;
    5. Failure to signal turns and lane changes. Predictability helps make driving safer.



Excessive speed and driving abnormally slow are dangerous in part because they introduce unpredictability into the driving equation. The same is true for not using turn signals. On the roads, especially at highway speeds, surprises are bad.

If You Need a Chicago Car Accident Attorney, Contact the Lawyers of Malman Law

If you have been injured in a traffic accident you believe was caused by the negligence of another driver, you should consult with a Chicago car accident attorney. The lawyers of Malman Law are ready to help you. You can reach us at (312) 629-0099 or through our website.

Steve Malman

Malman Law’s founder Attorney Steven Malman has over 30 years of experience handling personal injury, nursing home, medical malpractice, truck accidents, car accidents, premises liability, construction, and workers’ compensation cases in Chicago, IL.

Years of experience: +30 years
Illinois Registration Status: Active and authorized to practice law—Last Registered Year: 2024

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