Safe, defensive driving offers several benefits, including financial perks that can save you big. Whether you already have a great driving history or you’re working toward improving your record, here are five of the biggest benefits you can enjoy by being a good driver.
1. Reduce the Risk of Accidents
Most accidents are caused by human error. Distracted driving, such as using a cell phone, changing the radio, or eating while driving, can dramatically increase the risk of an accident. Cell phone use during driving accounts for 1.6 million crashes per year, according to the National Safety Council. One of the most prevalent contributions to crashes is speeding, which is a factor in one-third of fatal collisions. Good drivers who obey traffic laws and avoid distractions can significantly reduce their risk of being involved in a crash.
2. Earn Lower Car Insurance Rates
As a good driver, you’ve done one of the most important things you can do to qualify for the best rates on car insurance. San Diego insurance companies consider many factors when setting premiums, such as the vehicle’s safety and theft rates, location, credit, and gender and marital status, but your driving record is one of the most important. If you have avoided accidents, serious infractions, and moving violations, you can qualify for good driver or claim-free discounts. You usually need a clean record for at least 5 years to qualify for this discount. Because insurance providers periodically review drivers’ activity, you could even earn discounts every time you renew your policy.
3. Qualify for Accident Forgiveness
A growing number of insurance companies are offering a benefit called accident forgiveness, which means if you have a clean driving record and are involved in an at-fault accident, your insurance company won’t increase your premiums or consider the accident when evaluating your driving history. As long as it’s your first at-fault accident, you’ll continue to pay your same low rate. Accident forgiveness is only offered to good drivers with clean driving records.
4. Reduce Vehicle Wear and Tear and Lower Fuel Costs
Aggressive driving, such as speeding and rapid braking and accelerating, reduces gas mileage by 15-30 percent at highway speeds and up to 40 percent in stop-and-go city traffic. Sensible driving that includes observing the speed limit and slow acceleration can also reduce wear on your car. Aggressive driving increases wear on tires, and engines work best without frequent fast stops and starts.
5. Avoid Tickets
Traffic violations like speeding, running red lights, not using a seat belt, and failing to stop for pedestrians aren’t just dangerous. They’re also expensive. While California speeding fines start at $35, drivers in San Diego County can expect to pay $235 or more for a simple speeding ticket thanks to penalty assessments, court fees, and surcharges. The penalty for running a red light can be $490. By practicing safe driving, you can reduce your risk of an accident and save yourself from the high penalties and insurance premiums that come with them.
Contact Altra Insurance Services if you’re looking for the best rates on auto insurance. We also provide motorcycle, commercial, renters, and homeowners insurance in San Diego. To speak with one of our friendly agents and receive a free quote, call (800) 719-9972 today.