This article was last updated on February 29
Everyone is looking to cut costs in the current economic climate and one place that is often over looked is auto insurance premiums. While getting multiple free quotes for insurance is easy, actually understanding the factors that lower your insurance is even more important. One such factor is the safe driving discount, also called a no-claim or claims-free discount. For the safe drivers among us this is one factor you can easily leverage to really lower your insurance premium (5 to 10% savings on average).
If you have not been involved in any kind of accident for a period of time, usually 3 to 5 years, you may be entitled to a lower rate. In fact, make sure you ask your insurance provider for this as it is not automatically included in insurance quotes.
However, if you have had an accident in the past it is not too late to become a safe driver and get the safe driving discount which can save you at least $50 – $100 off your annual premium. Here are 8 safer driving tips for avoiding accidents and having to file an auto insurance claim:
1. Take a defensive driving class
Not only will you learn a few things, the majority of insurance agencies provide their customers a 10% discount on their automobile insurance whenever they take a defensive driving class. Make sure you check for approved defensive driving classes with your insurer before signing up.
2. Get your kids under control
Children should be buckled in their seats at all times for their safety and to ensure you can focus on driving. Too much noise from Tommy or Susie in the back seat can easily distract you from concentrating on driving safely and focusing on what’s ahead.
3. Stay off the phone
Cell phones take your focus away from the road and dramatically increase your chances of being in an accident. So avoid talking, texting and browsing when driving. Not only are you putting yourself at risk but also all the other drivers around you.
4. Get enough rest – Rest, Revive and Survive
Avoid driving when you’re tired. Your reaction times are much slower and if you fall asleep on the wheel while driving it is likely you may never wake again. Also be aware that some medications, especially prescription drugs, can cause real drowsiness and make operating a vehicle very dangerous.
5. Know what’s around you
Always use caution when changing lanes. Check your mirrors frequently. Always be aware of what is on your right, your left, front and behind you. Being able to react quickly – defensive driving – is the hallmark of good drivers.
6. Look ‘em in the eye
Make eye contact with other drivers and pedestrians so you know they see you.
7. Drive with your headlights on.
Even during daytime hours, a car is visible for nearly 4 times the distance with its headlights on. Now you know why some cars have their headlights on your during the day!
8. Watch your speed.
As your speed increases so does your braking distance. If you double your speed, you need to quadruple your braking distance to stop in time. So slow down and survive.