|Photo courtesy of Volvo|
Drivers everywhere are trying to find every reasonable way to decrease their insurance rates. Each day ads run on television, radio, billboards, newspapers, and just about everywhere else, encouraging people to switch insurance providers and save money. Besides switching services, everyone knows that not receiving traffic citations or getting into accidents for long periods of time will help lower insurance costs. For that reason alone drivers should adopt some safety-minded habits to use every time they get behind the wheel. Incorporate these practices into your driving routine and you should enjoy savings on your insurance policy over the long run.
Put your phone away when you are driving.
If it’s too tempting to talk, text or use the Internet when you are behind the wheel, do yourself a favor and just tuck your phone away while you are sitting behind the wheel. Unless you have the reflexes of a fighter pilot, which you almost definitely do not, you need to focus all of your attention on what is happening around your car, not what's showing up on your phone's screen. Numerous studies have shown that people who are texting or even talking on the phone while driving perform as poorly on the road as drivers who are legally drunk. The same goes for using tablet computers, which an increasing number of drivers are utilizing while driving to look up traffic reports, read the news, or even watch movies!
Avoid rushing into an intersection once the traffic light changes.
Too many accidents happen because one driver tries to push his luck with a red light, just to arrive at a destination just a moment sooner. While trying to beat red lights is a bad idea, so is rushing into an intersection the very instant the light turns green. You're not on a drag strip, waiting to get the perfect launch and nail your best quarter mile time, so relax a little. Just take a moment and check that the cross traffic has stopped in both directions. You can even let the person next to you venture into the intersection first, which will minimize your risk of being involved in a wreck.
Exercise caution when switching lanes or making turns, considering that such maneuvers on the road are commonplace but fairly risky.
Always signal before changing lanes, since this will help drivers know what you are about to do, which can avoid an accident. Some modern cars come with a blindspot monitoring system, which is a tremendous help. Before changing lanes, you should always check your mirrors and very briefly look over your shoulder to check out the vehicle's blindspot, just in case. Before you make a turn, always look for cyclists and pedestrians in front of, to the sides, and behind your car.
Always keep your speed in check, especially when road conditions are less than ideal.
You should always know how fast your car is going. Many roads are designed for traveling at a certain speed, so always take note of the posted limit. Whenever the weather is inclement, you should drive slower than usual. Roads covered in water, snow, or ice can be slick, making it harder to come to a complete stop. Fog, rain, and snow decrease visibility, making it harder to see problems ahead of time. Driving quickly in high wind conditions can cause you to lose control of your vehicle.
Be courteous to other drivers and give them plenty of space.
Driving right behind another vehicle, or tailgating, is illegal in many areas. If the other driver needs to brake suddenly, you will likely slam into them. Remember that tailgating someone because they aren't going fast enough for your preference can lead to a road rage incident. You should also avoid cutting off other drivers and driving side-by-side with other vehicles, because both activities are a risk for you and everyone else on the road.