It is a well known fact that drivers with a good record get better insurance rates. Drivers who avoid accidents and speeding tickets can save as much as 5% on their premiums, even more if that record is extended over time. There are also additional discounts available for those who have safety features installed in their car or other vehicle. Whether you are an experienced driver or someone who just got their license, the following 5 tips will help you to stay safe while helping to reduce your premiums.

Keep Your Car Well Maintained

Changing the oil on your car regularly and ensuring parts such as filters are clean, belts are taught, lights, wipers, brakes, air bags, and horn are working, will make your car safer, and go a long way to helping you establish a clean driving record.

Stock Up on Emergency Equipment

Some insurance companies may consider reduced rates if you have an emergency kit in your car. This includes a flashlight, road flares, water, a blanket, first aid kit, and some extra warm clothes in case you get stranded during the winter months.

Install a Car Alarm and Air Bags if You Don’t Have Them

Car alarms and air bags not only protect you, your passengers, and your vehicle, but have an effect on the rate you will pay for your car insurance. A basic car alarm can be installed for about a hundred bucks, though air bags are much more costly. The bottom line is that both can save you money on your insurance over the life of your car, and air bags can save lives. You will need to weight the cost against the benefits, but it is difficult to place a price on a life that may be saved.

Secure Your Car When You Park It

It is very tempting to leave the doors of your car unlocked, and even the keys in the ignition if you are just running a quick errand. Car thieves are opportunists though, and hang around gas stations and convenience stores just waiting for such an opportunity. Always roll up your windows and lock your doors, even if just getting out for a few minutes.

Additionally, don’t leave valuables in your car, especially in plain sight. Smash and grab thefts are not uncommon, and often a thief will, after smashing a window, take the vehicle as well. Park your car in well lit areas, and never near a dumpster or hedge that could conceal the actions of a thief.

Avoid Distractions

Things such as texting or talking on a cell phone and eating are common distractions that contribute to many automobile accidents. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 9 people are killed and over 1,000 are injured daily due to such distractions. Taking your eyes or mind off the road or taking your hands off the wheel is dangerous to yourself, and to others.

Good, safety-conscious driving habits are easy to develop and are rewarding in more ways than one. They keep your vehicle in good condition, help you to avoid accidents, and of course are appreciated by insurance providers. Keep the above tips in mind; before setting out on your journey, and while driving. Doing so will help you to get more mileage out of life, your vehicle, and your insurance coverage.