Advanced Driving Tips

Save money on your car insurance by being a better driver.

Whether you’re a provisional licence holder or a long-time motorist, adopting advanced driving techniques will make you a safer driver. The driving tips below may also save you money in the long run, as you’ll build up a substantial no-claims bonus. So buckle up and read on.

Driving Position

driving position

The number of people with an improper driving position is unbelievable. Some people hug onto the wheel, crammed into 6-inches between the seatback and the horn. Others are so laid back that they should be classed as rear passengers.

Both of these seating positions are potentially dangerous, because they lead to reduced car control and increased blind spots.

The correct seating position is a distance that gives you a slight arm bend at the elbow for maximum steering wheel control. The seatback should be reasonably upright and your left leg should bend slightly when depressing the brake or clutch pedal (if there are people out there who still drive manuals). This driving position is more comfortable on long journeys and is safer for you in an accident.

Also, especially if you share a car with another driver, take a minute to adjust your rear view and side mirrors each time you jump in.

Look ahead

road

Advanced driving instruction teaches motorists to look further ahead and anticipate hazards before they happen. Doing so gives you plenty of time to react to a developing situation, long before it becomes an accident.

Many drivers stare at the end of their bonnet, reacting to things as they happen. This means you have less time to process what’s occurring. Practise scanning, that is looking at your mirrors, then ahead, then check your speed and repeat.

Think about your environment and the time of day. If it’s peak school time, be ready for a child to pop out from behind a parked car, or if you’re near shops, expect a pedestrian to exit a store and cross the road without looking. Other things to watch for are parked vehicles, cars or cyclists behaving erratically, obstacles, traffic lights, road markings and a narrowing road or merging lane.

If more drivers looked ahead, anticipated hazards and adapted their driving style to suit, traffic would flow more freely and there would be fewer accidents.

Smooth Inputs

velocity

Generally speaking, try to drive as smoothly as possible. Gentle use of the accelerator pedal helps improve your fuel efficiency, progressive braking is easier on your brake pads and a delicate all-around driver input will prolong the life of mechanical components.

Expect the unexpected

car accident

Drivers are humans and humans are unpredictable. Expect almost anything to happen and you’ll be ready for it. Is that car ahead going to turn without indicating or brake at the last minute? It’s possible, so leave a safe distance to the vehicle up front. Is a driver indicating? They may have left their turning signal on from a previous turn, so wait until they commit to a move before making yours.

Advanced Driving Course

driving lesson test

Some insurance companies will offer a discount to drivers who’ve completed an advanced driver training course. For example, insurer AAMI gives 10% discounts to young drivers who take a one-day training course.

Another way to save money on your insurance is to shop around. Use our insurance comparison to compare deals.

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