Being a safe driver reduces your risk of accidents behind the wheel. And when you practice safe and defensive driving techniques, you are not just saving your life and others on the road, but also saving money on car insurance. Most car insurance companies provide good premium rates for safe drivers. Compare car insurance with iSelect to find the best rates for you. So whether you are a teen driver just beginning to learn or an adult who has been driving for years, practicing the following safety tips will lower your risk of a collision and cut out time and money spent on an accident attorney.
Drive The Speed Limit
Speed limits are there for a reason so make sure to follow them. The speed limit is the maximum speed you are allowed to go so you can always go slower than that if you are: in a school zone, in an unfamiliar area, driving around a lot of pedestrians or bicyclists, driving in poor weather conditions, or there is poor visibility.
Don’t Drive If You Are Not Alert
If you are sleepy, then don’t drive! If you get tired while driving, pull over for a brief nap at a hotel or rest area. Too often, drivers fall asleep at the wheel and run off the road or get into an accident. In fact, fatigue causes more than 20 percent of accidents in Victoria, Australia. It is always better to add more time to your drive then end up in a car crash. Avoid fatigue by getting enough sleep before a drive and not taking a long trip after a full day of work.
Nowadays, our phones consume our lives—but they shouldn’t consume our driving habits. Using your phone while driving can increase your risk of an accident by four times. And texting while driving increases the risk by six times. When you are on the road make sure to turn your phone off or put it on silent and store it away from you (such as in your bag or the glove compartment).
And it’s not just our phones that can cause distractions. Listening to loud music, eating, and doing your make-up are all examples of in-car distractions you should avoid. Anything that takes your eyes off the road—even for a split second—can be dangerous.
Don’t Drink And Drive
Alcohol is a significant contributor to road deaths each year. Around 20 percent of drivers killed in Victoria every year have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) above the legal limit of 0.05. And even if your BAC is at the legal limit, your chances of being in a car accident is double that of not having alcohol in your body. Make sure to always plan ahead and have a designated driver if you will be drinking.
Keep Your Distance
Make sure to always keep a safe distance between you and the car in front of you. This means that during normal conditions, there is a two-second gap between you and the other car. If the weather is wet, you are driving at night, or towing, expand this distance to four seconds.
Always be aware of what is going on around you. Check your rear and side mirrors frequently to see what is going on behind and next to you. Perform a head check to check blind spots when you want to switch lanes. And scan the road conditions about 30 seconds ahead of you while driving.
Wear Your Seatbelt
Seatbelts are there to protect you in the event of a crash. Make sure your seatbelt (and that of other passengers) is tight across your lap and chest and over your shoulder. The few seconds it takes to put the seatbelt on could save your life.