Young drivers are more than twice as likely to make an insurance claim compared with older drivers and the average claim is a whopping three times higher.
This is the statistic that makes insurance for young drivers more expensive.
If young drivers significantly reduce their accident rate then insurance will gradually become more affordable.
The following tips from the Association of British Insurers will help you to avoid being in a road accident, keep your premium down and could ultimately save your life.
Carry fewer passengers
We all know that having other people in your car can be a distraction. Especially if they are encouraging you to show off and drive in a more risky manner. The risk of being involved in a fatal car accident increases by a reported 39% from driving alone to having one passenger; this risk shoots up by a shocking 182% when you carry three or more passengers.
- Avoid giving people lifts for the first few months after getting your licence.
- Don’t allow drunken passengers in your car – they will distract you.
- If you have to take passengers ensure everyone is wearing a seatbelt.
- Remember it is your car – don’t let anyone pressure you into driving irresponsibly; it’s worth losing face to save your life (and your licence).
Don’t drive at night
Between 11pm and 6am over 40% of accidents involving young male drivers result in either death or serious injury, this figure halves at other times.
Even though you are driving cautiously and are sober, there is no guarantee that the other road users are so you have to be extra vigilant at this time.
- Avoid driving after dark
- Do not drive when tired
- Ensure you can see and be seen – make sure your lights are working and your windows and mirrors are clean
- If you must drive at night do not allow intoxicated passengers in your car
Be aware of the driving conditions
Driving on a hot sunny day requires different skills to driving in heavy rain or snow. As your experience grows you will be able to gauge this but in the first few months after you’ve passed your test you should be extremely cautious in any adverse weather conditions.
- Maintain a good distance from the vehicle in front in all conditions.
- Be extra vigilant going round corners especially in wet conditions.
- Reduce speed if your visibility is compromised.
- Avoid driving in snow; few cars are equipped to drive in snow and ice.
A third of all accidents involving young drivers occur because of poor road safety and overestimating your ability and that of your car. Serious danger areas have been identified as:
- Negotiating bends
- Driving at high speeds
- Driving on national speed limit roads and motorways
- Driving on wet roads
- Negotiating narrow country roads
In all of these circumstances, reduce your speed, turn the music down and be extra vigilant observing potential hazards. You have to be able to react quickly if another driver makes a foolish mistake, and remember, if you crash in to the back of another vehicle because you couldn’t stop in time it will increase your insurance premium so keep your distance.