Protecting Yourself And Your Vehicle
Even the safest driver isn’t immune to the effects of careless motorists. According to the most recent statistics published by the Department for Transport, 1,793 people lost their life on roads through 2017. At the same time, insurance costs are ballooning due to the claims made on the back of RTAs – in Manchester, the average rate has now hit £1,000.
For motoring enthusiasts, it will literally pay to take steps and protect yourself on the road.
Avoiding an accident
The easiest way to prevent injury and repair costs is, of course, to avoid having an accident in the first place. Despite improved safety measures in modern cars, portable technology has made distracted driving ever more prevalent; the Independent found that 4 in 5 drive distracted, with 25% admitting to having a near miss due to distractions like smartphones. To drive safely and keep your vehicle in good working order, it’s not enough just to be safe on the road. Be aware of drivers around you and don’t allow yourself to become distracted. Prepare for the worst case scenario, too, by having equipment in your car available if there is an RTA and ensuring that your insurance is inclusive of unforeseen events and will give you the necessary cover in case of an accident.
When an accident happens
If you are in a collision of any type, you must stop. Otherwise, you’ll be committing a criminal offence under the Road Traffic Act and will need to answer a charge. Take a look around and see if anyone is injured and call 999 if appropriate. It can be handy to note the license plate of the other party – not ever driver is scrupulous and will follow the rules, which can lead you to excess costs if your insurer cannot claim against them. It’s worth investing in a dash cam, and many insurers will drop your premium if you have one installed in your car.
Repairing your vehicle
The cost of repairing vehicles continues to rise, which This Is Money finding the average cost to be £1,678. You can take a few steps to get your repair bill down. If you have your own equipment, you will reduce labour time, and therefore costs, by diagnosing problems yourself and giving that info to the mechanic. Make sure you shop around – mechanics will offer competitive rates, though if you’re already at the lower end, this won’t change much. When choosing a mechanic, use the internet extensively – the likes of Yelp and TrustPilot mean that it’s easy to pick out scrupulous and good quality mechanics from those with a lesser reputation. Finally, if you can make repairs yourself, why not complete them at home? This will give you that extra connection to your pride and joy.
For petrolheads, the car is one of the most prized possessions. Despite all the care you give to it, other drivers can endanger your happiness and health. Take measured steps to reduce your risk and make life easier if the worst does happen.