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Whether you’re a new or inexperienced driver, everyone can brush up on their good driving habits. Here are some of our best tips for safer driving!

1. OBEY THE RULES OF THE ROAD

This may seem like a no-brainer, but as we become more experienced drivers, we often let some of our better driving habits slide. Tailgating and speeding are the two worst offenders. Tailgating is not only illegal, but it greatly increases your chance of an at-fault accident if you rear-end someone. You’ll have to pay more out-of-pocket, as well as pay a fine, and your insurance will skyrocket as a result.

Speeding is just as bad, as it is the leading cause of collisions. In Ontario, speeding fines can be thousands of dollars depending on how fast you go, and your vehicle can be impounded. If you’re found to be at-fault in an accident due to high speeds, you will be charged with higher insurance rates.

2. GET ANNUAL CHECK-UPS

Don’t just wait for the check engine light to come on or your engine to seize up before taking your car to the shop. Keeping your vehicle properly maintained keeps it safe on the road, running smoothly, and could save you money on your car insurance. Common areas to check include tires, brake systems, windshield wipers and fluid, and regular oil changes.

3. PUT DOWN THE ELECTRONICS

Not only is chatting or texting on your cellphone or other mobile device while driving dangerous, it’s also against the law. In all Canadian provinces, driving while using your mobile device is illegal and the fines are costly (starting at $600). So pull over, hand your phone to a passenger, or wait until you get to your destination before responding to that text message. If your car has Apple Play features, you can activate speech responses for your text messages. However, every car is different, so read the vehicle’s manual first. Furthermore, if your car has this extension available, ensure you are in a parked position and not driving when setting it up. 

4. KNOW YOUR ALCOHOL LIMIT, AND STAY WITHIN IT

How many drinks are you allowed to have and still be able to drive? One? Two? Three? The truth is, drinking under any kind of influence, even just a glass of wine, slows down your reaction time and can greatly increase your risk of a serious accident or injury. Furthermore, a DUI on your record will cost you a fortune on your insurance. In Canada, the maximum legal blood alcohol level is 80 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood (0.08). And for drivers under the age of 21, there is zero tolerance for alcohol. When in doubt, catch a ride with a designated driver or call a cab or Uber.

5. TELEMATICS INSURANCE

Are you a safe driver and you know it? With telematics insurance, you can prove to your insurance provider that you are less of a risk on the road and save on your insurance premium. Telematics, or Usage-Based Insurance (UBI), involves installing a device in your vehicles that provides information regarding the driver’s braking, cornering, speed and overall driving habits. If you are a new or young driver, or have a few collisions on your record, telematics could help you prove safer driving on a regular basis and help reduce your costs.

Telematics insurance is quickly becoming the way of the future and the best, customized option for drivers, so ask your broker at isure about your options!

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