Bad driving habits can result in wide-ranging consequences. Irreparable damage to your favorite car and the loss of life are just two extreme examples. Overall, Hong Kong is a busy city with countless traffic lights, people, and cars. On top of that, you often have irritated drivers and the occasional traffic accidents. If you don’t want to be a hindrance to other drivers, you must get rid of your terrible driving habits. After all, these habits affect you, and everyone around you.
Thinking of making claims? Bad driving may even ruin your streak for No Claims Discount (NCD) on motor insurance, and indirectly increases your premium!
Today at Kwiksure, we’ll go over the top 7 bad driving habits that drivers tend to have in Hong Kong.
1. No pre-driving check
Here, most drivers do not inspect their cars before driving. This involves going through a standard pre-drive checklist. You should check whether the car doors are shut and if the driver’s seat is in the correct position. Other items on the checklist include: whether your rear mirror is clean, if your passengers are wearing seat belts, and whether the handsfree phone holder is free to use, etc.
Tire-wise, it’s definitely worth paying attention to tire pressure and tread wear patterns. Did you know that numerous tires are put under uneven pressure? In fact, the difference in tire pressure on both sides of the car can be up to 20 pounds. In other words, your car might just bounce around on the road instead if you need to use the emergency brake. Moreover, during winter, a number of animals, such as wild cats, enjoy huddling under your car for warmth. Remember to check the bottom of your car to avoid hurting small animals.
2. Distracted driving
Hong Kongers lead busy lives - we always want to do multiple things at once. Even when driving, some drivers are busy talking on the phone, or listening to the radio without paying attention to their surroundings. However, distracted driving is one of the worst driving habits. This is because the road condition is constantly changing. If a traffic accident happens right before you, you’d be too distracted to apply the brakes in time.
Other drivers, however, enjoy playing the part of the observer. They love to slow down or even stop their car if there’s a car accident nearby to see what’s going on. This can also be dangerous. Besides blocking the incoming traffic, these drivers might get crashed into by the car following behind. Ironically, this turns you from a bystander to the one directly involved in the accident!
Numerous drivers are impatient. This is especially the case with Hong Kong’s crowded roads and endless traffic lights. In fact, these drivers would neglect the 2-second following distance and tailgate the car in front. Yet, doing this actually won’t shorten your journey much. You might even increase your risk of ending up in a car accident instead. This is particularly the case when it’s raining or when the road situation gets chaotic. In the end, this poor habit of driving will waste both your time and effort.
Tailgating big vehicles, such as trucks can be incredibly dangerous. The truck driver may not be able to see you. On the other hand, with the truck as an obstacle, you may not be able to see the road in front clearly. This makes it difficult to detect potential threats or accidents.
4. No regular car maintenance
Vehicles and human bodies are the same. You need regular check-ups for both to prevent minor problems from turning into major problems. Otherwise, you’ll regret it. For example, your car might break down on the highway or be the cause of a serious accident. In fact, it’s a problem if the driver knows that there is something wrong with their vehicle, and still doesn’t repair it. Knowing this, some insurance companies deduct or even refuse your claim in the event of an accident.
5. Late braking
Late braking can damage the brake system. It increases the degradation rate of different car components. This is a pressing issue since the brake system could be a life-saver in emergencies.
6. Careless lane changing
Our government’s slogan for its safe-driving campaign says, “careless lane changing puts us all at risk”. As soon as you choose a lane, you should stay in it. Some impatient drivers love to change lanes constantly and forcibly. They might not even use the turn signal or check behind them for oncoming cars before changing lanes. This results in an unfortunate accident.
7. Refusing to give way
You’ve probably studied this when you were first learning to drive. You need to give way to cars on major roads if you’re merging from smaller alleys or roads. Additionally, cars looking to turn right must give way to oncoming cars. The same goes for if you see flashing emergency lights, or hear alarms from emergency vehicles. Otherwise, you would be breaking the law.
Get expert advice from car insurance experts
Having served Hong Kong for more than 20 years, Kwiksure is a well-known car insurance broker. In addition to auto insurance (third-party and comprehensive), Kwiksure also provides a variety of products such as motorcycle insurance, domestic helper insurance, and VHIS. Follow our Facebook page and subscribe to our monthly newsletter for the latest news!