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Avoid the Hidden Cost of Traffic Tickets
No one wants to get pulled over and slapped with an expensive traffic ticket, but a moving violation can cost more than inconvenience and a traffic fine.
If you're lucky, you can keep a violation or points off your driving record by taking a traffic school or defensive driving class. But if you're less fortunate, your auto insurance rates could increase and cost you a lot more in the long run.
The New York Times Bucks blog recently featured a few figures from Insurance.com, showing how much your insurance rates will increase on average for different types of violations.
- Reckless driving: 22%
- Driving while under the influence: first offense: 19%
- Driving without a license or permit: 18%
- Careless driving: 16%
- Speeding 30 mph over the limit: 15%
- Failure to stop: 15%
- Improper turn: 14%
- Improper passing: 14%
- Following too close/tailgating: 13%
- Speeding 15 to 29 mph over limit: 12%
- Speeding 1 to 14 mph over limit: 11%
- Failure to yield: 9%
- No car insurance: 6%
- Seat-belt infractions: 3%
(Based on analysis of over 490,000 auto insurance quotes by Insurance.com)
The best way to prevent rate increases is not to get a traffic ticket in the first place. Drivers education teaches traffic rules and responsible driving to help you avoid getting costly tickets. But there's a lot more than money at stake. Drivers education is a lifetime investment that can prevent collisions and save your life.
According to the Florida DHSMV, DriversEd.com's drivers education course reduces moving violations and DUIs. Licensed drivers can also benefit from a refresher course, and aging drivers can learn about new technologies and new techniques for safe driving.
DriversEd.com can help all types of drivers develop safe driving habits and even earn an insurance discount.
Top Five Safest Vehicles For Teen Drivers
Learning to drive is a teenage rite of passage, offering the freedom to travel but with the responsibility of looking after a valuable vehicle. Parents will typically help to buy a teenager their first car, so they will want to equip them with a safe, secure mode of transport for the first years of their life as a driver. Here are the five of the safest vehicles around, any of which should be suitable for teenage owners.
Since being taken over by BMW at the turn of the millennium the Mini brand has managed to hang onto its iconic status in a significantly more modern form. Minis built over the last decade are some of the safest small cars around and teens will love their quirky looks and cool status. In Europe the Mini gets five stars from the NCAP test when it comes to protecting passengers.
Another small car, this offers slightly more room than the New Mini, with a decent amount of space in the trunk and adequate seating arrangements inside. Reliability is assured, as is safety and teens will get a kick out of the fun handling. With a four star rating from the NHTSA it is safe enough to give you peace of mind.
The Focus blends affordability with good equipment and a solid safety record. Antilock brakes, airbags and ESC (Electronic Stability Control) come as standard, keeping teens on the safe and narrow and protecting them in the event of a crash. You can pick up a used Ford Focus for very little yet still get a reliable, loveable vehicle.
The cabin of the Vibe is packed with six airbags, more than many of its equivalently priced rivals and it is a good example of why opting for a newer vehicle and spending a little bit more will pay back in the long run. Of course parents will need to balance the cost of a car for their teen so that it is not too expensive to run and insure, but when it comes to safety you should never cut corners.
The Honda Civic is one of the coolest cars around and is thankfully relatively affordable. If you are going to buy one used, the good news is that the inclusion of airbags at the front and side in the most recent versions of the Civic has been a standard feature. ESC has been an option in some models so make sure you check the details of the example you are considering.
As a general rule, the older the car is, the less likely it is to have the kind of modern safety features that you would want to protect a teenage driver and it's easier to get a car loan for a newer car.
Most importantly, do not assume that just because a car is small that it is unsafe. Size is less relevant than safety devices in the current market. New drivers will also find it easier (and therefore safer) to handle a smaller car.
||Learn to drive from your computer!
Back when the Seventeen staff learned to drive, we had to actually go to classes. It was like summer school: sitting in a classroom, listening to a teacher lecture when all we wanted to do was be outside with our friends. Fortunately for you, you can now get your license through DriversEd.com.
The site offers a drivers ed course that includes videos, 3-D traffic situations, and quizzes. If you're nervous for the real thing, you can take DMV practice tests so you'll be a pro by the time the real test rolls around. Get extra prepared with a safe-driving guide, a Rules of the Road DVD, and more.
Ah—the perks of living in the digital age!
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