It’s important to maintain an unblemished driving record because multiple driving infractions could require SR22 insurance, which could lead to astronomical car insurance premiums. If you want to have a driving record you can be proud of, drive safely and obey all traffic laws, pay attention to speed, be patient when driving, and always prepare for a safe ride home when out drinking.
Get a Vision & Hearing Test
The majority of people get their driver’s licenses when they are young and their hearing and vision fall within the acceptable limits for driving safely. However, as people age and conditions change, the opportunity arises for hearing and vision to decline. Regularly having your hearing and vision checked will give you confidence that you’re not impaired while driving. Common reasons for impairment include:
- Exposure to excessive noise
- Disease or a virus
- Head trauma
Brush Up On Your Skills
If you ask 100 people, 99 of them will say that they are good drivers. This is large because as time goes on, people can mistake their experience for complacency, instead of actively being aware and driving defensively. Bad habits may take hold without realizing that there are safer means of conduct.
- Take a defensive driving course
- Review road signs and their meanings
- Read through a driver’s handbook
- Be more mindful of your actions while driving, like accelerating through yellow lights
Maintain Your Car Insurance
Driving and car insurance must go hand in hand. Allowing your car insurance to lapse should be avoided at all costs, this means taking the steps to make sure the insurance company is always paid on time (consider automatic withdrawals) and setting aside the money to pay the premiums. It never hurts to get quotes and find an inexpensive policy that best suits your needs.
Keep Your Registration and License Updated
Every state has different driving qualifications. Be sure you know what is expected of you by your state and how often your registration, license, and/or vehicle inspections are due. (Note: some states do not require vehicle inspections). Allowing these documents to expire will put a blemish on your driving record so keep an eye out for automatic renewals and calendar reminders for deadlines.
Never Drive Under the Influence
Whether it’s alcohol or drugs, never drive while intoxicated or under the influence. Before attending a party or social gathering always have a backup to get home safely. Most cities have ride-share drivers at the ready at any time of the day. Take advantage of this and never assume you’re okay to drive, the chemically-altered brain is often over-confident and makes mistakes. Or, you might consider:
- Spending the night at a friend’s house
- Renting a hotel or motel room nearby
- Appointing a designated driver
- Drinking sodas and water all night
- Arranging to get picked up by a friend
The flow of highway traffic tends to be at the speed limit of 5-7 miles per hour above it. Keeping up with that is usually no cause for alarm but excessive speeding is not only dangerous, but it can also put points on your license; rack up fines, and put you in danger of needing SR-22 insurance. According to the NHTSA, speeding played a contributing role in nearly 30% of all traffic fatalities in 2020. Other facts to be aware of include:
- Statistically, young male drivers are most prone to speeding and are therefore more inclined to be involved in fatal car accidents.
- Speeding and unsafe weather conditions do not go hand in hand. You’re twice as likely to be involved in a fatal car crash if you speed during bad weather as in good weather.
- Drivers are often over-confident about their driving ability and believe they can handle what comes their way, even at higher speeds.
Aggressive driving behavior creates issues not only for the driver but also for passengers, and other drivers on the road. Avoid driving while upset or emotional, so you can pay attention to traffic and the road. Road rage can often be a contributor to fatal crashes, and leave people feeling helpless, frightened, and even scarred.
- Anticipate traffic delays: breathe through them and listen to music to avoid getting angry
- Avoid running late to important appointments so you don’t get easily irritated with other drivers
- Yield to others instead of aggressively holding your ground
Maintain an unblemished driving record and you will reap the rewards of lower insurance premiums and steering clear of the various fines and penalties that can come with reckless driving.