However, as exhilarating as watching cars speed on a racetrack might be, real life comes with a few rules in order to maintain safety on the road.
If you own a car, auto insurance features on the list of your regular, recurring expenses. The price you pay is the result of the combination of a variety of risk factors such as what kind of car you own, your driving record, your age or sex, or even where you live.
Your behavior and profile as a driver, namely your driving record, is a major contributor to the kinds of insurance rates you are able to secure.
Below, we have gathered a few driving habits that are likely to cost you in the form of expensive claims and, subsequently, auto insurance premium hikes: Ayrton Senna famously said that “When you are fitted in a racing car and you race to win, second or third place is not enough.”
1 - Avoid distracted driving
Distracted driving might seem harmless enough at first glance but it is a major contributor to entirely avoidable accidents and fines because it is so pervasive.
Examples of distracted driving include eating, applying make-up or otherwise grooming, adjusting the radio, using a navigation system and, most importantly, general cell phone use. Some types of distractions, such as checking Google maps, may be unavoidable in order to get from point A to point B and therefore require extra caution.
Others, however, such as texting and driving, are often the result of a false sense of security. There is a reason behind the fact that many states impose strict fines on cell phone usage while operating a vehicle and invest in awareness and educational campaigns to remind drivers to stay off their phones as much as possible.
Taking a step beyond those initiatives, Massachusetts will be joining other New England states on February 23, 2020 when the recently passed distracted driving law goes into effect. Under the new regulations, all cell phone usage, from texting to checking social media, will be prohibited while driving.
Each offense will result in escalating fines up to $500 while repeated infractions could result in auto insurance rate increases for offenders as well as driver training.
2 - Do not tailgate
Of all of the driving habits we've discussed, this might be the worst one.
Speaking of distracted driving, it is prudent to always maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you.
Tailgating not only can come across as aggressive, but it also eliminates the margin of error that a comfortable distance provides you with in case other drivers stop or slow down unexpectedly.
Crashing into the car in front of you, even if the collision itself is mild, can cause injuries to both parties. It is also very likely to stain your record with your insurance company since you will likely be considered the party at fault for failing to properly stop.
3 - Always use your blinkers
This one may seem like a no-brainer but failing to alert other motorists regarding your intentions when turning, switching lanes, or slowing down to nab a parking spot may put you on the other side of the scenario above: you might get rear-ended.
Apart from the immediate cost and unpleasantness of such a situation, the whiplash and force of the impact can cause injuries to your back, neck, arms, head, and even brain that may bring about pain and discomfort for years to come.
4 - Do not try to speed through yellow lights
It is very easy to miscalculate how much time you have left before the light turns red so, as long as you have enough space, you should always treat an upcoming yellow light as a signal to slow down to a stop.
Stepping on the gas in an attempt to make it through just in the nick of time can result in a moving violation if the light ends up turning red or, even worse, in serious collisions.
When it comes to how you conduct yourself behind the wheel, the motto “Better safe than sorry” is particularly relevant.
Aside from accidents and injuries, irresponsible behavior can also lead to tickets and rises in car insurance costs that will stick with you for a while.
As always, a BRZ associate is available to assist you with appropriate auto insurance coverage that will fit your budget and lifestyle.