How-to

How to pass the car safety test

Getting regular safety checks can greatly reduce unnecessary car trouble—even dangerous accidents. Badly maintained cars can cause deadly collisions and as a result, often receive higher car insurance quotes. The best and simplest way to avoid both accidents and fines is to ensure that your vehicle is safe.

Here are a five easy ways you can assess whether or not your vehicle needs to be upgraded:

1. Make sure your brakes are working properly. Getting brake checkups will ensure that your pads and rotors are in top notch condition. It is imperative that you keep your brakes in great condition, because they are the first defense you have against a collision.

2. Maintain proper tire inflation. It’s estimated that nearly 20,000 collisions per year are due to tire failures and blowouts. If you maintain your proper tire inflation, you are taking a very simple step toward avoiding a collision or accident. Use a pressure gauge to check the pressure of your tires regularly—preferably at least once a month. It is also very important to check the wear and tear of your tires. Tires that are worn down have less traction and are less likely to stop suddenly if needed. Your tire’s tread shows whether or not it has the proper traction needed and if the wheel alignment is correct.

3. Maintain the proper level of fluids. Your car’s most critical systems rely on having the proper levels of different fluids, so check your car at least once a month for leaks. Having a regular oil change is one of the easiest ways you can lengthen your car’s life and function.

4. Examine under the hood. You should always make sure that your car’s belts and hoses should be intact, and any loose connections, leaks or cracks should be mended.

5. Make sure all your lights work. Properly functioning lights are important for letting other drivers see you at night. If you turn or reverse suddenly, they will be alerted in time to avoid a collision.

As you can see, all it takes are a few simple steps to make your vehicle safer for the road. The better maintained your car is, the less likely you are to get into an accident, and the fewer accidents you have on your driver’s record, the lower your car insurance quotes will ultimately be. When it comes to safety, you shouldn’t take short cuts.

How to buy car insurance online

If you are looking for car insurance, there are a number of factors you should consider before choosing a specific policy. Type of coverage, initial cost and deductible amount are among those factors. Depending on which policy you choose, deductibles can range from $250 to $1500.

To clarify, a deductible is the amount of money you pay out of pocket to cover damage caused by a possible collision. Usually, auto insurance deductibles have both collision and comprehensive policies, and if you pay a lower deductible, you can expect higher car insurance quotes.

If you are using the internet to find car insurance, make sure to browse different insurance providers’ websites for details on their policies. Each should assign different rates for different deductible amounts. If you choose a policy with a higher deductible, you can save money in the immediate sense, but beware—if you are ever involved in a serious accident, you may find that you don’t have the cash to pay out of pocket.

Often, an insurance company will adjust a deductible to fit your policy, and your budget. Selecting the correct policy can help protect you in case of an accident and give you peace of mind. An average comp and collision deductible is usually around $500 on most policies.

When you are visiting an insurance company’s website, you will see that deductibles can be calculated using an online tool. This is helpful in letting you know how much you can expect to pay, and you can plan your budget accordingly.

Using websites as a way to shop for vehicle insurance makes it easier to compare different providers. A little online research really can go a long way.  Often, these websites provide their own rates, as well as the rates of other companies. By looking at the rates side by side, you can get a better idea of what you will have to pay, and find the most affordable plan.

While online insurance websites can be helpful, you should also contact the company’s helpdesk or a representative in order to get direct contact with an individual who can better answer your questions. Some websites even support live chat features. This is sometimes better than having to wait for an email or be put on hold while calling.

Time spent researching is time well spent. In the end it will save you money and give you a more accurate idea of what you can expect from your policy. The Internet is a valuable tool when it comes to saving money on car insurance and deductibles and it will ultimately help you find lower auto insurance quotes.

How to deal with an uninsured driver

It goes without saying that getting into a car accident is extremely upsetting and stress-inducing. When you are in an accident, and it is the other driver’s fault, you expect to be compensated for the damage of your vehicle, and if you get hurt, your hospital bills. But what happens if the motorist if uninsured? Ultimately, each state has their own laws regarding who should pay and how much. There are two different systems that pertain to this type of situation, depending on which state you live in.

In some states, there is a no-fault policy, in which you would submit a claim to your own insurance company. Even if another person caused the accident, your insurance company would pay for the damages under this system. Other states carry a tort policy, in which you must sue the other person for the cost of damages in order to be compensated financially.

Both systems have their drawbacks, and ideally, a driver should never have to be put in the situation of dealing with damage from an accident that isn’t their fault. That’s why it’s a good idea to purchase uninsured or underinsured driver protection. Those who are worried that such protection would subject them to higher car insurance quotes should rest easy. There are basically two scenarios that could play out if you get into an accident with an uninsured driver, depending on which state you live in.

If you live in a no-fault state, you will be required to file a claim with your own insurance provider, even if the damages and injuries are not your fault. If you have missed work as a result of the accident, you may also file a lost wages claim, in order to be fully compensated. You will still have to pay the deductible; however, the claim will not raise the rates of any auto insurance quotes you may receive after the accident.

On the other hand, if you live in a tort state then someone must be found to be at fault. If the other driver is proven to be at fault, then you must file a claim and pay a deductible to your insurance company, but in order to be awarded payment for any injuries, lost wages or damage, you must sue the uninsured driver. This will not raise your car insurance quotes, though it can be a stressful situation to say the least.

If you are a regular driver, or even a part-time driver, it makes sense to have uninsured and underinsured motorist protection as well as regular coverage. Whether you live in a no-fault state or a tort state, it’s a good investment.

How to avoid traffic collisions

Getting into an accident is stressful, dangerous, and sometimes, deadly. However, there are things you can do to avoid them, and keep yourself safe. It’s been stated that more than 90% of automobile collisions can usually be avoided. It’s a sobering thought. So how do you prevent accidents? Common sense and some helpful hints will help you steer clear of unwanted collisions, and help you to feel safer while driving. And remember, the fewer accidents you are involved in, the lower your auto insurance quotes will be.

Here are a few main points to keep in mind while on the road:

  1. Pay Attention: Make sure that you are fully aware of your surroundings at all times, and keep an eye out for other motorists, pedestrians, and even weather and road conditions. Being alert and in tune with your surroundings is imperative when it comes to safe driving.
  2. Avoid Dangerous Roads: While you should always be alert, this is especially true when driving in harsh winter weather conditions. Even if you are careful, your car can veer out of control due to rainy or icy roads.
  3. Obey the Speed Limit: If you drive too fast, you slow your reaction time and are thereby more likely to get into a crash. Speed-related crashes make up $40.4 billion a year in economic costs.
  4. Keep a Safe Distance: By creating a buffer zone between you and the driver in front of you, you can greatly reduce the chance of a collision. Tailgating is a major cause in rear-end accidents. You should always keep three seconds worth of distance between you and the car in front of you. When driving in more extreme conditions, you should keep even further back.
  5. Proper Lane Changing: It’s one of the first things young drivers are taught, and yet many people fail to check all their mirrors and signal before changing lanes.
  6. Use Caution at Intersections: 23% of fatal accidents are intersection-related, according to the Federal Highway Administration. In addition, more than half of fatal and injury collisions take place in intersections. Always be careful when entering an intersection, and even if you have the right of way, look both ways before turning.
  7. Get Regular Checkups: Checkups are an invaluable way to avoid accidents. Whether your wiper fluid is low or your brakes and tires need maintenance, keeping up with car checkups is crucial.

By following these simple steps, you can reduce the chance of a dangerous car accident, and keep your car insurance quotes low.

How to stay safe while driving

Safe driving habits will not only help you prevent a car collision, which will protect both yourself and those around you, but it can also lead to lower car insurance quotes. Think of it as a reward, if you like. Auto insurance companies are more comfortable offering you low quotes because you have a history of good driving habits. Although common sense is always a bonus when on the road, some good driving habits are learned, not innate. By following a few simple steps, you can improve both your safety and the safety of other cars on the road.

Here are a few important tips that will help you stay safe while driving:

Be Alert! Make sure that you don’t drive when you are too tired. What many people don’t know is that driving while extremely fatigued can have similar impact as driving under the influence. Both inhibit your reaction time and awareness of those around you. If you feel too tired to drive, pull over to a safe spot and rest. It’s not worth getting into an accident, which can threaten your life, not to mention raise your auto insurance quotes.

Don’t Drink and Drive: This is one of the first things we teach young people when they are learning to drive. However, a lot of adults don’t follow this simple rule themselves—often with devastating consequences. According to statistics, almost 275,000 people die every year because of drunk driving, and that includes innocent bystanders and motorists. Not only will a DUI land you in jail and result in the suspension of your license, drunk driving will dramatically raise your car insurance quotes.

Drive the Speed Limit: When you are running late to work or an important event, it’s tempting to put your pedal to the medal, but driving 20 miles over the speed limit can double the impact of an automobile collision. Getting a speeding ticket will cost you more than any other driving violation, and each one you get will further tarnish your driving history, making you less and less attractive to auto insurance companies. In the end, if you speed, you can probably count on a higher auto insurance quote.

Avoid Distractions: Eating while driving, rubbernecking at nearby accidents and texting on the phone all reduce your alertness while on the road. In fact, using your cell phone at all is now illegal in some states—and for good reason. Distractions are a leading cause of accidents in the United States, and accidents will raise your insurance.

It’s important to remember to drive defensively, and avoid aggression toward other drivers while on the road. Behavior like tailgating, honking without just reason, turning when you should yield, and purposely flashing your lights at other cars are all considered aggressive behavior. By reducing aggressive behavior you can help insure your own safety, and the safety of those around you. Be courteous to other drivers, and you will be rewarded with less tickets, and lower car insurance quotes.