So many of us have been driving for longer than we care to remember. We have our own styles, and we know what works for our vehicle. Did you know that some of our driving habits are making us less safe and damaging our cars? That means higher repair bills and more accidents.
Take a look at few common driving mistakes you’ll want to avoid to keep your car on the road as long as possible.
NEGLECTING YOUR PARKING BRAKE
You can and should use your parking brake more often than you probably do. Definitely engage it when you’re parked on an incline, but go ahead and use it when you’re not. Without it, the full weight of your vehicle is on the parking pawl – one small piece of metal in your transmission. If that part wears out, and it can if you never use the parking brake, shifting to P will become meaningless.
STARTING AND STOPPING HARD AND FAST
It’s fun to rev an engine, and when you’re in a hurry, taking off from the green light feels good. Of course, on the other side, when you’re in a rush, you may have to slam on the brakes to stop in time. Neither are good for your car. Starting fast uses more fuel. Sudden stops wear out your brakes quicker. Both can cause accidents on the road.
BARELY FILLING UP
Sometimes you just don’t have the budget for a full fill-up at the gas station but barely keeping your gas tank above E isn’t good either. You could damage your fuel pump because the only way that part of your car cools off is to be fully submerged in fuel. At the very least, keep your tank a quarter full, but more is better.
HOLDING THE SHIFTER AS YOU DRIVE
If you’re the type who rests your hand on the shifter while you drive, it’s time to get into a new habit. When you do this, you place extra weight on it – even if it doesn’t feel that way to you. Doing this causes internal wear on the transmission’s bushings and synchronizers. You’ll be in the shop with transmission repairs sooner than you want. Plus, it’s just safer to drive with both hands on the wheel.
IGNORING THE THINGS THAT WORRY YOU
We’re all guilty of hoping that weird rattle or squeak will go away or thinking that the “Check Engine” light is no big deal. Taking the time and money to get our vehicle checked isn’t always easy. But these are the last things you should ignore or neglect. The sooner you have your vehicle checked out, the cheaper the fix. Wait until your car dies in the middle of the highway, and you’ll really pay for it.
BUYING ONLY THE MINIMUM INSURANCE
Carrying only the legal minimum amount of auto insurance might save you money on your premiums, but you’re asking for problems if you get into an accident. One bad accident could financially ruin you, especially if the other driver sues. Plus liability coverage alone won’t fix your car, pay you for your totaled car, or help you get a rental car. To do that you’ll need comprehensive and collision coverage as well as the rental and roadside assistance add-ons.
Changing your driving habits and taking care of your vehicle will help keep you on the road longer and you’ll be safer while you’re behind the wheel. Just because you’ve always done something a certain way doesn’t make it the best option. Take it one habit at a time, and you’ll see that the change is worth it.
Start making changes right now with a new auto insurance policy that actually covers you in an accident. Contact us at Charlotte Insurance for a free quote.