As a teenager, getting your driver’s license is a huge accomplishment. It opens up a world of possibilities and allows you to get around more easily. But it’s not all long drives and open roads. There are also a lot of things to consider, like insurance rates.
You need to shop for the best insurance rates, and doing so can be tricky. But there are things you can do to make sure you’re getting the best deal. For one, you can use insurance review sites such as Motor1 to compare rates. Another thing you can do is to avoid making any teenage driving mistakes that will cost you money.
Driving Mistakes Cost Money—and Lives
The Foundation for Traffic Safety reveals that the crash rate for 16-17-year-olds is twice the rate for drivers aged 18 and 19. This is likely because teenage drivers are inexperienced and often take risks. Even if it’s not fatal, it’s important to note that these mistakes can be costly—in insurance rates and repairs.
So, if you’re still not sure if you need auto insurance even without a car, the answer is yes. Insurance protects you from lawsuits and costly repairs, so it’s worth the investment.
Avoid These Teenage Driving Mistakes
In your teens, you might think you’re invincible. But the truth is, even the best drivers make mistakes. And those mistakes can be costly—not just to your insurance rates but also to your safety. Here are five teenage driving mistakes that you should avoid at all costs:
1. Putting Off Car Maintenance
Getting your car serviced regularly is one of those things that’s easy to forget. But it is important, especially if you want to avoid costly repairs down the road.
Make sure you check your car’s oil level and tire pressure regularly. If anything doesn’t look or feel right, take it to a mechanic. With car maintenance, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Here’s a list of the fluids and components you should check in your car regularly:
- Oil level
- Brake fluid
- Windshield washer fluid
- Transmission fluid
- Power steering fluid
- Spark plugs
- Air filter
You may have to shell out a bit of money for regular car maintenance, but this can help you avoid more expensive repairs later.
2. Drinking and Driving
This one is a driving no-brainer. Driving when you’re drunk is illegal, dangerous, and expensive.
If you get caught, you’ll face steep fines and an increase in your insurance rates. Not to mention, there’s the potential for accidents and injuries. In 2017, 42% of fatal crashes involving drivers between the ages of 16 and 24 were alcohol-related.
So, if you’re going to drink, hand over your keys to a friend or call a cab. You may think you can still drive, but even a small amount of alcohol can impair your judgment.
Remember: As a newbie driver, you may not be the best judge of your abilities. Mix this with alcohol and the results can be disastrous.
3. Aggressive Driving
We’ve all been there—you’re running late, and someone cuts you off in traffic. It’s frustrating, and it can be a challenge to stay calm. But road rage not only puts yourself and others in danger—it can also be expensive.
If you get into an accident because of aggressive driving, your insurance rates will go up. And if you get caught, you could face hefty fines.
So, the next time someone cuts you off, take a deep breath and let it go. It’s not worth the risk, especially for your safety and wallet.
Other aggressive driving techniques to avoid:
- Tailgating: Following a car in front of you too closely.
- Speeding: Going over the posted speed limit or driving too fast for conditions.
- Running red lights or stop signs: Ignoring traffic signals.
- Making illegal turns: Taking a turn without signaling or cutting someone off.
4. Waiting for the Fuel Warning Light
With gas prices rising, it’s tempting to wait until the last possible moment to fill your tank. But if you wait until the fuel warning light comes on, you’re putting yourself and your car at risk.
Running out of gas can damage your car’s engine, and that’s going to be expensive to fix. It’s also dangerous, as you could end up stranded on the side of the road. So, make sure you keep an eye on your gas gauge and fill up before you hit empty. Even if it means spending a few extra dollars at the pump, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
You may be putting off filling up because that gas is expensive. But there are ways to save money, like using a gas credit card or shopping for the best prices. It’s also important to learn how to drive a car while being financially responsible. This means securing insurance, of course. It also means understanding how your vehicle works and learning to take care of it.
5. Texting While Driving
Phones are an extension of our lives, and it can be hard to put them down—even when we’re behind the wheel. But texting while driving is not only illegal in most states, but it’s also dangerous and expensive.
If you get caught, you could face a fine or even lose your license. A total of 36 states ban the use of cell phones for new drivers, so it’s important to know the laws in your area.
And if you’re in an accident while texting, you could be held responsible. That means higher insurance rates and possibly a lawsuit. So put down the phone, focus on the road, and wait until you get to your destination to check your messages.
Drive Safely to Save
Distracted driving, speeding, and inexperience can all lead to accidents. It may be exciting to be able to drive anywhere, but it’s important to remember that driving is a privilege, not a right. And with that mobile privilege comes responsibility.
So, take your time behind the wheel and avoid these teenage driving mistakes. Not only will you stay safe, but you’ll also save yourself some money in the process.