By Allen Brown
Staying safe is the ultimate prize when it comes to driving, and one to aim for every single time we get behind the wheel. We all know the rules; the issue is, we don’t always follow them. And other times, unfortunately, it’s other people who are not careful enough to prevent a motor accident.
The impact of accidents
Accidents are just that – accidental. However, there are major implications because of them that result in extensive personal costs due to car damage and medical intervention. Additionally, bodily harm, injury, and fatalities cause major grief and trauma for all involved, and often, for extended family too. Accidents are, for the most part, preventable. So let’s take a look at some tips to follow in order to stay safe on the open roads and, in so doing, save on your insurance.
Ensure you’re on the right side
First, it is crucial that, once you are legally allowed to drive a vehicle and you have a valid license, your job is to ensure that it remains valid at all times you are on the roads. It is similarly essential that your car is registered to drive in the state, and this will require your car to be certified and periodically assessed for roadworthiness.
Driving without valid paperwork is definitely not a clever idea, even though millions of Americans do drive uninsured. Not only could you face paying a fine for violating this law, but in this article, you will find that unlawful driving could possibly result in jail time. So, to save yourself from being in the wrong during an accident, have your license and vehicle registration in order.
It is important to mention that if the offending driver is unlicensed, you may still be protected through your UM/UIM coverage (Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist coverage). However, if you have been negligent yourself, your insurer will find ways to hold you partly liable for damages.
So, what could you do in the future to safeguard money spent on insurance while staying safe on the roads? The key message is that maintaining a safe driving record is the best way to ensure your insurance premiums remain as low as possible. If you do not present a risk to your insurance company, you are likely to get the most discount on your insurance. Here are some top tips to drive safely and prove to your insurer that they should trust your driving:
Do not drive under the influence
Huge campaigns are pleading with the public to not drive under the influence – of alcohol and drugs – with slogans such as “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” and “Drive High – Get a DUI”. It is important for people to remember that driving intoxicated prevents reactive response times and is earmarked as a significant factor impairing the driver’s ability to make good judgement calls.
Keep to the speed limit
During the first and second quarter of 2020, traffic fatalities increased per 100 vehicle miles travelled. This is quite shocking, considering that the reason given was faster speeds on the roads. Driving over the speed limit is an easy way to lose trust with your insurer, as you will have broken the law. Legal driving limits are set to prevent accidents, and this is especially important when driving in bad weather or poor road conditions. Take care and follow the speed signs.
Do not be a distracted driver
New distracted driving laws are legally enforcing drivers to reduce time with eyes off the road. Especially considering how many drivers text while driving, distracted driving has increased immensely over the last few years. Trends show that the youngest age group on the roads, 15-19 years old, had the highest involvement in fatal crashes due to distracted driving.
Besides phone use, rubbernecking or gaper’s delay was also indicated as being responsible for accidents. If your insurer finds you negligent during the time of the accident, even if you were using earphones or just listening to music, this may drastically influence their willingness to cooperate with you.
A couple of last tips: make sure to always drive with your seat belt on; and additionally, to save insurance money, take a defensive driving course! This will really show your insurer that you’re serious about preventing any accidents and are willing to improve your defensive driving in case you are involved in a crash. Talk to your insurer beforehand and see whether they provide a discount for the course and whether you could even reduce the points against your license.
The above tips are sure to result in money saved. This can be achieved because your clean driving record will prevent your premium from being driven up, or even more directly, through lowered premiums by your insurer.