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10 Ways Safe Smart Driving Saves Money

10 Ways Safe Smart Driving Saves Money

Safe drivers save money by being more fuel efficient, spending less money on insurance, and by being more likely to avoid violations and accidents. Tickets and accidents can cause your insurance premiums to go up. The safer you drive, the less likely you are to get a ticket or be in an accident – the more likely you are to save money. You avoid having to pay a deductible and anything that’s not covered if you’re in any accidents. By not getting tickets, you avoid all kinds of court costs. So, here are some ways to be a safer driver and, in turn, save some cash.

Where the rubber meets the road

  1. Check your tire pressure
    When your tire pressure is too low, excess tread is touching the road and causing more wear. When tire pressure is too high, the walls of the tire are put under more stress which increases the chance of a blowout. Having the right tire pressure will prevent accidents.
  2. Slow down before turns
    Your tire walls are carrying a few thousand pounds of steel and glass already. When you make multiple turns without slowing down enough, you cause the structural integrity of the tires to degrade faster. If they degrade too much, you’re putting yourself and other drivers at risk on the roads.
  3. Rotate the tires
    The tires on the front of the car wear differently than tires in the rear. Rotating your tires every 3,000 to 6,000 miles ensures that the tires wear evenly. This saves money by both decreasing tire cost and increasing gas mileage.
  4. Wheel alignment
    Wheel alignment is a measure of the angle of the wheel in relation to the ground. When the angles change due to running over pot holes, bumping curbs, or even normal wear and tear, the tires begin an uneven wear pattern and you replace your tires more often.

Brake for safe drivers

  1. Don’t slam on the brakes
    Give yourself ample space to react to traffic in front of you. It could be the sudden stop of another vehicle, a yellow light turning to red, etc. Just gently pressing on the brakes will ensure you have control of your vehicle.
  2. Clean brake dust
    Aside from looking bad, brake dust can build up on the rotors and cause poor brake function. Excess brake dust can also cause vibrations and shorter brake life.

Spend less time at the pump

  1. Avoid putting the pedal to the metal
    When you accelerate aggressively, you are burning more gas, hence the typical difference between city and highway gas mileage ratings. Rapidly accelerating can lower gas mileage by 33% on the highway and 5% in the city. So you save money that way. Also driving without such a heavy foot is much safer, and more legal, than speeding around.
  2. MPG versus MPH
    Most vehicles are at their most fuel efficient at 50-60 mph. Traveling at 80 mph can decrease fuel efficiency by up to 28%. Just reducing speed slightly means you could travel further on every tank of gas. Keep that in mind the next time you’re on the highway.
  3. Control your cruising
    Using cruise control maintains a constant speed in the most fuel-efficient manner. This prevents changes in speed that reduce efficiency, especially on longer trips.
  4. Carry less cargo
    For every 100 pounds of cargo you carry in your vehicle, your miles per gallon drop by 1%. And, at interstate speeds, roof-top cargo carriers decrease fuel efficiency by as much as 25%.

Being conscious of the effect of one’s actions behind the wheel not only increases the lifespan of the car’s parts, but also inherently makes for a safer driver. Safe driving decreases insurance costs over time. The longer a person goes without an accident or traffic violation, the lower their insurance premiums. Insurance can be the most expensive part of car ownership, but by changing a few behaviors – like slowing down and giving more room to brake – it can be one of the cheapest.

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