Young drivers are more than twice as likely to claim on insurance compared to older drivers, while the average claim is a whopping three times higher. So how can you reduce the chances of an accident – along with your insurance costs? Here’s some advice for new drivers from the Association of British Insurers.
What about the morning after?
It can be good to travel with your mates, but they can also be a distraction. Amazingly, you’re 39% more likely to be involved in a fatal car crash when you carry just one passenger. Three or more passengers increases the odds to a massive 182%. So what can you do?
- Avoid offering lifts in the first few months after getting your licence
- Don’t allow drunken passengers in your car, they’ll only distract you
- Make sure everyone is wearing a seatbelt
- Never let anyone pressure you into driving irresponsibly. It’s worth losing face to save your life.
Don’t drive at night
Between 11pm and 6am, over 40% of accidents involving young male drivers result in either death or serious injury. Any other time of day and this figure is halved. Even if you’re sober and cautious, there’s no guarantee that other drivers are, so be vigilant.
If you have to drive after dark, make sure you’re not tired and check that your lights, windows and mirrors are all clean and working. And don’t carry drunk passengers who might distract you.
Drive the right way for the weather
Driving on a hot sunny day requires different skills to driving in heavy rain or snow. As your experience grows, you’ll be able to gauge this. But in the first few months after you’ve passed your test, you should be extremely cautious in any bad weather. Make sure you:
- Always keep a good distance from the car in front
- Be careful going around corners, especially in the wet
- Slow down if there’s low visibility
- Don’t drive in the snow, most cars aren’t equipped for it
A third of all accidents involving young drivers happen because they overestimate their ability, or that of their car, especially when:
- Taking bends
- Driving at high speeds
- Driving on motorways or other roads with the National Speed Limit
- Driving on wet roads
- Travelling on narrow country roads
In any of these situations, slow down, turn down the music and keep a close eye out for hazards. You might have to react fast and, if you crash into the back of another vehicle because you couldn’t stop in time, it’ll increase your insurance premium, so always keep your distance.