January 6, 2010

Why Driving While Stressed May Increase Your Auto Insurance Rate

If you’ve looked for auto insurance quotes online, you’ve probably taken a few steps to make sure you’re getting the best rate possible. Whether you have contacted several insurers individually or used a comparison shopping site to get several quotes, you’ve taken action to make sure you find the most cost-effective auto insurance policy for you. However, the biggest determinants getting these affordable premiums is the number of car insurance claims that you end up making. If you’re prone to driving while stressed out, you may be taking unnecessary risks that could result in a much more expensive insurance policy.

Stressed out drivers have less rational control over their actions and drive in ways that are unsafe for them, their passengers and the other drivers on the road. Stress can cause a driver to jam on the gas pedal, for instance, which prevents the driver from having adequate reaction time when coming up on a slow moving car or object in the road. They’re also more likely to slam on the brakes, which causes the opposite problem for drivers behind them – they’re not able to stop quickly through no fault of their own, resulting in a car insurance claim for the aggressive driver. Stress causes drivers to behave erratically, passing and cutting off other vehicles and creating volatile conditions that could easily result in a serious accident.

Avoiding the dangers of stressful driving can be very simple. Drivers who feel angry or emotional should simply stay off the road for several hours, or take a few minutes to cool off at a rest stop or gas station until they’re able to drive more rationally. A few deep breaths and a non-caffeinated beverage can also be very helpful. Making a conscious effort to drive more slowly can decrease stress in and of itself, and gives the driver (and other drivers) more time to think and react. Staying back from the flow of traffic and giving other drivers plenty of room is also very helpful, and can help you avoid a bad case of road rage.

If you’re able to drive without stress, you’ll build an impressive driving record that will result in less expensive auto insurance. Calm driving tactics make you a safer driver, less likely to cause a dangerous accident, and less of a risk to insurance companies. You’ll often find much better auto insurance coverage at much lower rates if you drive while conscious of your stress level. So, for this reason, be sure to pay attention to your driving habits, particularly when you’re driving under the influence of strong emotions. Keeping your head clear will be better for you, your auto insurance and every driver on the road.