Have a safer life in the slow lane
Sometimes it feels like life moves at a million miles an hour. For many of us, there’s not enough time in the day for everything we need or want to do.
Often that dashing about extends to when we get behind the wheel. The urge to get from A to B quickly has led to a rise in speeding offences. Read on to find out how you can better control your speed, be a safer driver and perhaps also cut your costs.
More people are paying the penalty for speeding
Figures from the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) show the number of motorists found guilty in court of speeding rose sharply in the past 12 months. The number of convictions has risen by 28%, the highest increase since 2005.
But a penchant for speed costs Britain’s motorists. If you’re caught speeding, you’ll get three points on your licence and a fine, which could be up to 150% of your weekly wage. The maximum fine is £1,000 for most roads, rising to an eye-watering £2,500 for excessive speeding on the motorway. Even if you’re offered a speed awareness course instead, you’ll have to cough up around £100.
Penalty points on your licence will hit you in the pocket. You must tell your insurer about your speeding offence, which is likely to bump up your premium. The more points you have, the more you’ll have to shell out for your car insurance.
IAM calculates that penalty points are costing UK motorists over £132 million a year in higher insurance premiums.
Speeding can be a bad habit
Most people don’t set out to speed. Often it’s unintentional because you’re very familiar with a road or it feels like you’re driving too slowly.
And there are plenty of distractions to contend with too, from a favourite song coming on the radio to the kids mucking about in the back seat to your phone beeping at you.
“Taking your eye off the road, just for a second, to read an alert or check who a call came from can have potentially fatal results,” says Adam Beckett, Aviva’s product and propositions director. “Many people don’t realise it is an offence to use a mobile phone even while a vehicle is stationary in a lay-by, traffic jam, traffic lights or at the side of the road, with the engine running. We would encourage all motorists to ignore their phone until they have parked up and can safely use it.”
Learn how to control your speed
If speeding is a habit, it’s one that can be broken. By paying a little more attention each time you get behind the wheel, you can proactively try to reduce your speed. Try doing little things like:
- checking the changes in the speed limit at junctions
- assuming a limit of 30 mph on roads with street lights (there may be signs telling you it’s lower)
- turning your phone off when you get in the car to reduce distractions
- keeping an eye on your speedometer to make sure your speed isn’t creeping up
- don’t speed up or slow down if someone tailgates you.
If you’re trying to break bad habits, try doing your new action for 21 days in a row. You may find yourself developing a new habit of staying within the speed limit. And that can only be good for you, your wallet and the wider community.
How safe a driver are you?
If you’re wondering how safe you are behind the wheel, join our #DriveSafer campaign by downloading the Aviva Drive app.
Aviva Drive automatically records your car journeys through your GPS, monitoring your braking, accelerating and cornering skills as you drive. Once you’ve driven 200 miles, the app gives you a score out of 10. We’ll use your score to calculate your personalised discount.
Safer drivers scoring 7.1 or higher could save an average of £150 on Aviva comprehensive car insurance, a discount we expect 44% of safer drivers to achieve.
This is based on policies bought direct from Aviva between 1 October 2014 and 30 September 2015. Discount is available on first car per policy and depends on score and price – minimum £200. Discount doesn’t apply to optional extras.