bad driving habits

If you have just purchased your brand –new vehicle and got the insurance coverage, congratulations! Now you need a rate you can afford. But be careful, just because you have a good rate that you pay every month nowdoesn’t mean it will always stay that way. It’s up to you to show that you are not a big insurance risk, requiring higher premiums, going forward.

So, to show that you are a safe, responsible driver, here are the top 5 most common driving mistakes people make that cause their rates to jump:

#5 Speeding

fatal car accidents It should come as no surprise that speeding is one of the leading causes of fatal car accidents in the United States. Every year, nearly 10,000 Americans are killed in traffic accidents that were caused by excessive speed, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. Drivers who exceed posted speed limits have greater risk of losing control or not being able to stop, and these factors increase their chances of a serious or fatal accident. Dr. Michael Larson from MultiCare Health Systems says it best – ‘Slow down to save lives.’ Reducing speed can also help with fuel economy and reduce emissions, making everyone’s journey safer and more economical in the long run.

#4 Reckless Driving

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, approximately 20% of vehicle collisions are caused by drivers who fail to show proper regard for safety or disregard traffic rules. Reckless driving can result in tragic consequences, including loss of life, serious injury, and extensive property damage. That’s one out of every five accidents. It’s no wonder insurance companieswill flag anyone pulled over and convicted of reckless driving. Reckless driving endangers not only yourself and your passengers, but everyone else you share the road with.

#3 Driving Under the Influence

Driving under the influence This one goes without saying. Drinking and driving kills 28 people a day in the U.S. – about one person every 52 minutes – according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. That is more than 10,000 lives lost each year to drunk driving. This is why every state has strict punishments for those arrested for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) of alcohol or the use of illegal or misuse of prescription drugs.

Alcohol and drugs severely hamper a driver’s ability to safely operate a motor vehicle, impairing judgment and slowing reaction time. Driving under the influence puts in danger not only your life, but the lives of everyone else on the road.

While it may seem daunting, it is important to remember that every decision you make while behind the wheel can have serious consequences – including getting behind the wheel after drinking. It’s simply not worth dying for, or spending most of the rest of your life in prison for killing someone else on the road. Always use a designated driver, use a taxi, or rideshare service. These services cost much less than a DUI!

#2 Distracted Driving

Distracted Driving It may be hard to believe, but distracted driving is one of the most dangerous bad driving habits in the world, and one that nearly every driver has been guilty of at one point or another. Thanks to mobile phones,portable devices, and even the installed electronic devices and touch screens of your vehicle can be a distraction. It’s estimated that distractions at the wheel cause over 3,000 fatal accidents every year in the United States alone.

Paying attention to your phone, and not on the road, can and usually will result in an accident – possibly a serious one. No matter who is calling or texting, just remember that it can wait until you arrive at your destination, or until you find a place to pull over.

#1 Not Wearing a Seatbelt

Not Wearing a Seatbelt Over half of passenger vehicle occupants killed in 2020 were not wearing seat belts. That’s tens of thousands of lives that could have been saved had they just buckled their seat belts. In fact, more than 75% of people who are ejected during a fatal crash die from their critical injuries, yet only 1% of passengers who were wearing a seat belt were ejected from a car during a crash.

The danger is even greater for those traveling at higher speeds and for individuals who aren’t restrained by airbags or other safety devices. To ensure safety, it’s important to always secure your seatbelt before driving away in a vehicle. It only takes a second, but it could be the difference between life and death.

Use common sense, and you won’t pay more!

Although these five behaviors are some of the most common causes of car accidents, they are all completely preventable. By simply adhering to basic safety precautions and using common sense, you can help keep yourself and others safe on the road. Oh, and keep your insurance rates from going up!

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