Young Drivers

Driving while using a mobile phone – changes to the law

Did you know – if you are caught using your mobile phone behind the wheel you could lose your licence if you passed your driving test within the past two years? Read more about it here.

young driver

Top Tips for Safe Driving

Remember the hazard perception test from your driving theory exam? Hazards and distractions are all around you as a driver, the key is keeping you mind focused behind the wheel. Whether you are new to driving or it has become second nature, it’s worth being refreshing your mind on the key points below.

BE ONE STEP AHEAD

Prevent hazards from taking you by surprise by keeping an eye on what’s happening within view, further up the road and always maintain a comfortable stopping distance.

EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED

The only person whose actions you are in control of is yourself. Not making assumptions about how another road user will act, helps prepare you for any surprises.

GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK

Responsible driving is tiring and it is easy to lose focus on longer journeys, putting you at higher risk of an accident.  Factor in a 15 min break for every two hours of driving.

THE 2 SECOND RULE

In normal conditions, stay at least two seconds behind the next vehicle, or four seconds in wet weather, to give your brain the time it needs to react and avoid a collision.

USE YOUR MIRRORS

Your mirrors provide vital information about your surroundings, remember to use them as you drive, but ensure you also look over your shoulder to check your black spots before pulling out.

DRIVE PREDICTABLY

Other road users will make assumptions about how you will act next. Use your indicators and avoid erratic movements to help them make informed decisions on the road.

REMAIN FOCUSED

Taking your eyes off the road ahead, for a few moments is enough time for a hazard to arise. You need time to process a hazard while still having the stopping distance to react.

BREATHING SPACE

Be aware of the space around all sides of your vehicle, keep clear space all around you to maximise your options if an unexpected hazard arises.

THE BENEFIT OF HINDSIGHT

As a driver you will almost certainly experience a near miss at some point. If this happens to you, use it as a learning experience and consider what you could do differently if it happened again.

THINK GREEN

Reduce the environmental impact of your journeys by driving steadily, changing up gears early and accelerating or braking smoothly where possible. Reducing your speed and minimising use of air conditioning also helps conserve fuel, reducing your emissions and saving you money.

How to drive with a

BLACK BOX

Black box insurance can save a new driver a small fortune compared with a regular policy, but you’ll need to drive well to maximise your savings. Here’s how…

..STICK TO THE LIMIT

Pretty obvious really… Don’t speed! Not only will you stay on the right side of the law and avoid penalty points that could cost you your licence, you’ll be scoring brownie points with the black box. Don’t confuse obeying the speed limits with driving slow. Your insurer isn’t expecting you to dawdle along with a queue of frustrated drivers behind you. Just choose a speed that’s appropriate for the conditions, and never more than the speed limit.

AVOID LATE NIGHT DRIVING

Being the designated driver once in a while isn’t going to push your premium through the roof, but regular night drives could increase the price of your policy. That’s because accidents are more likely at certain times, and late at night is one of them. So don’t make a habit of nighttime driving. If you can’t avoid it (perhaps because you work shifts), a telematics policy may not be right for you.

USE FEEDBACK

Most telematics insurers provide feedback online or through an app. Regularly check to see what your insurer makes of your driving, and take on board any pointers.

BRAKE EARLY

Keep your black box happy by breaking early and smoothly to slow down for bends and junctions. Look well ahead so you can anticipate the need to change speed, rather than reacting at the last minute. That said, if you really need to jump on the brakes to avoid an accident, make sure you do!

KEEP AN EYE ON YOUR MILEAGE

You’ll be asked to estimate your annual mileage when you take out a policy. Some insurers will set a cap on how far you drive. If you are going to go over the cap, talk to your insurer. They may be able to adjust the premium or you could top-up the mileage allowance. Even if there’s no set maximum mileage, driving less is likely to lead to a lower premium.

ACCELERATE SMOOTHLY

The black box measures how hard you accelerate, so don’t bury your right foot everytime you pull away. Drive smoothly, and change into a higher gear without letting the engine labour. Driving this way won’t just please your insurer, you’ll save money on fuel too.

DON”T LET AN UNINSURED DRIVER BEHIND THE WHEEL

It’s okay to have named drivers on your policy, such as your parents, so they can drive your car too. But you should never let someone who isn’t insured drive your car. Not only is this illegal, but you won’t be covered if they crash. Even if they don’t have an accident, your premium could go up if they drive badly.