Preventing breakdowns and auto accidents, as well as qualifying for the best car insurance rates, not only require safe driving habits but proper maintenance of the vehicle you drive.
While Affordable Insurance in Aurora provides a reliable safety net in the event that things go wrong, we strive to educate our customers on being responsible drivers and car owners. Our goal is to ensure that when it’s time to buy or renew your insurance coverage, your premiums remain low.
Today we discuss poor driving habits that should be avoided if you want the best car insurance rates.
Gunning the accelerator from a stop can damage both your tires and your engine. The squealing noise caused by your tires when making a fast start is due to excessive friction. If done regularly, this can cause premature wear and tear on your tires. Punching the gas can also strain your engine, especially when it hasn’t had a chance to warm up yet and disperse the engine oil. Unless you are racing in the Formula One, there is no reason to gun the gas from a stop.
Ignoring your check engine light is one very risky habit that can lead to costly problems. Many drivers continue to drive with the check engine light illuminated. Some think it’s a precautionary measure and don’t consider taking their vehicle to an auto shop until the engine is billowing smoke, or the car has trouble starting. Getting your car to a qualified mechanic as soon as you see the check engine light can make the difference between a quick tune-up and a long, costly diagnosis and repair job.
Carrying unnecessary weight in your vehicle can increase the rate of wear on your transmission and brakes. It can also make your car harder to control. Be sure to slow down in snowy or icy conditions. Remove any heavy items that you don’t need from your trunk, and take off rooftop boxes and bicycle racks when not in use. Lightening the load on your car will improve your gas mileage and make driving safer.
Leaving it until the last moment to refill your gas tank can be harmful to your engine. Allowing your car to run on empty puts a strain on your fuel pump and may cause irreparable damage. In order to avoid an early replacement of your fuel pump, try to keep at least a quarter of a tank of gas in your vehicle at all times. Anticipate running out of gas before it happens, and if you are in an unfamiliar area, fill up sooner rather than later!
Braking too much can wear down your brake pads and rotors quickly, meaning more frequent replacements. Drivers who do not leave adequate space between themselves and the car in front end up braking with greater frequency. They are also more likely to hit the vehicle in front of them if it slows down suddenly. Now, that’s not the way to get the best car insurance rates. Practice safe driving habits by leaving plenty of space between you and the next car. Snow, heavy rain, and ice on the road can double your braking distance, so remember to take this into account when driving in severe weather conditions.
Shifting into drive while rolling backward may seem like it saves you a few seconds in an automatic car. Unfortunately, this bad habit puts a tremendous amount of strain on your transmission system. To avoid wearing out your transmission and shelling out for expensive repairs, simply wait until the car has come to a complete stop before shifting from reverse to drive. It’s an easy change to make, but if done consistently it can make a huge difference in the longevity of your transmission.
Riding the clutch in a manual car is a habit that can end up costing. The clutch should only be engaged when you are shifting into gear. Holding it down means you will end up burning it out and requiring a replacement faster. Avoid having your foot pressed on the clutch when waiting at traffic lights or intersections. Keep the vehicle in neutral until you need to shift into gear.
Forgetting to check your blind spot is a dangerous habit that can result in disaster for you and your automobile. When moving from one lane to another, most drivers will check their mirrors for approaching cars. Remember, your side mirrors cannot show you the entire picture. To be sure there is no approaching vehicle it is best to have a quick glance over your shoulder to check the blind spot before shifting lanes. Forgetting to do this can lead to a collision, damages and harm to yourself and others. And you can forget getting the best car insurance rates.
Forgetting to use the parking brake can cause damage to your car and is just a dangerous thing to do. Without it, the only thing holding your vehicle in park is one small component of your transmission. This is not designed to hold the whole weight of your car, especially if on a hill, for any length of time. Putting this huge amount of pressure on your transmission can cause considerable damage. Protect your transmission and be safe by using your parking brake.
Using your headlights incorrectly will not cause direct damage to your car, but it is a dangerous habit and can increase the risk of you causing a collision. High beam headlights illuminate the entire road brightly and are suitable for use on dark rural roads at night with little traffic. When using your high beams, always remember to switch to low beams when approaching other vehicles, either head-on or from behind. High beam lights will momentarily blind other drivers and make it difficult for them to keep their car under control.
After reading about these bad driving habits, can you recognize any areas you can improve upon? Often, road accidents and vehicle breakdowns happen due to circumstances beyond our control. Some factors, however, are completely under our control. Practicing good driving habits will make you a safer driver, keep your vehicle in good condition and qualify you for the best car insurance rates.
For more information about budget-friendly auto insurance, contact Affordable Insurance in Aurora. Our team is ready to help you find the best car insurance rates and policy to suit your needs.