Spanish traffic service will check more strictly for dangerous driving habits

by Lorraine Williamson
driving habits

The Spanish traffic service DGT is going to monitor driving habits that endanger the safety of road users. Sometimes it’s about habits where you may not be aware of the dangers.

Many of these actions can have serious consequences, both for the safety of the offender and for other drivers and pedestrians. So it’s good to be alert, because these bad driving habits lead to countless traffic accidents and casualties every year.

These are some of the most common bad driving habits:

Using Mobile Phones

One in five people admit to using a mobile phone, without hands-free, while driving. This behaviour distracts the driver, which seriously endangers road safety. Mobile phone use behind the wheel is the main cause of 30% of fatal accidents on Spanish roads. But not only mobile phone calls, but also eating or drinking while driving is distracting and creates risky situations.

No seatbelt

Although seatbelts have been mandatory in Spain since 1975, it remains necessary to remind many drivers of the obligation to wear them. DGT reports that 139 people died on the road because they were not wearing their seatbelts. The risk of dying in a traffic accident is 77% lower with a seat belt on.

Failure to indicate or wrong direction

Another major cause of accidents behind the wheel is failure to use the turn signals or using them incorrectly.

Keep driving on the left

Many drivers continue to drive in the left or middle lane without overtaking. With this attitude, they obstruct traffic and cause risky situations for themselves and other drivers.

One-handed driving

In general, more experienced drivers are more likely to adopt this bad habit. They tend to stick their elbow out the window and drive with only one hand. According to DGT, it is recommended to hold the steering wheel with both hands “in a 10:10 clockwise position”.

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Pressing the clutch too much before braking

Pressing the clutch long before you get to a stop sign or red light will cause the car’s brakes to wear out faster. A tip: brake gradually and downshift gradually.

Excessive and abrupt braking

Many drivers brake too hard, for example in a bend. This can cause the car to skid and you run the risk of losing control. That’s why experts recommend applying the brakes gently and lifting your foot when you notice that the ABS anti-lock braking system is kicking into action.

Changing lanes

Especially in traffic jams, drivers often change lanes. In doing so, they obstruct other road users, brake unnecessarily and cause collisions between vehicles. The DGT recommends first looking in the rear-view mirror, indicate and then manoeuvre.

Continue at pedestrian crossings

In 2022, there were “11,500 pedestrian accidents on city roads, killing 213 people and hospitalising more than 1,400 people with serious injuries.” Do not park at pedestrian crossings, and approach pedestrian crossings at an appropriate speed to be able to react in time.

Not keeping a safe distance

One of the most dangerous frosting tactics in the list: not keeping your distance. In 2023, according to the DGT, there were “117 deaths in rear-end collisions and multiple collisions on roads”. Experts recommend a distance of at least “2 seconds from a fixed point on the road”.

Unnecessary honking

Excessive honking causes discomfort and nervousness to other drivers. In addition, the use of audible signals in an unjustified or exaggerated manner is prohibited, according to Article 110 of the Spanish General Highway Code.

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