You already know that your auto insurance premiums are based heavily on your driving history, including any accidents in which you’ve been involved. So, not only do you want to avoid injuries or damage to your car; you also want to keep your premiums as low as possible by preventing accidents. Follow these eight tips to become a safer driver, protecting both yourself and others on the road.
Plan ahead. Every year, thousands of accidents are caused by distracted drivers. Everything from looking at your cell phone to being unsure of your surroundings can lead to distraction, so plot your route before leaving home. Use your car’s GPS system, if it has one, rather than your phone. The voice technology will notify you of upcoming turns so that you don’t have to watch a screen.
On that note… put away your phone. Silence your phone when driving, and keep it put away in your purse or the glove compartment. Don’t even tempt yourself to check for texts or other notifications.
Consider a newer vehicle. When it’s time to shop for a new car, consider one of the newer models. New features such as back-up cameras and various types of alerts keep you safer on the road. Cars with these features often qualify you for lower auto insurance premiums, also.
Attend regular physicals, vision screenings, and hearing checkups. Vision and hearing problems can sneak up on us, and you might not even realize your senses have become impaired. Get regular checkups, especially once you pass age 40 or so.
Don’t ever drive while impaired. You know that driving under the influence of alcohol is a bad idea. But since many prescription medications can have the same (or sometimes even more severe) effects, don’t drive under the influence of medication either.
Maintain your vehicle. Make sure you change the windshield wiper blades, wash the windshield, clean rearview mirrors, and change light bulbs in your headlights and brake lights when needed.
Leave appropriate space between yourself and other cars. When you follow another vehicle too closely, you obstruct your own vision of the road in front of you. Plus, you need time to react and stop your own car if the ones ahead of you abruptly slow down or stop.
Enroll in a defensive driving course. These classes teach you how to anticipate certain dangers on the road, so that you can avoid them and lower your odds of an accident. Completing the course might even qualify you for a discount on your auto insurance premiums, so call your provider to check on the requirements first.