Auto insurance provides discounts for safe drivers. While auto accidents aren’t always the fault of the driver, motorists who have a clean driving history generally enjoy lower auto insurance premiums. But how do drivers maintain a clean driving history free of tickets and accidents? The answer is easy: just follow some basic safety guidelines.

Auto Insurance: Minimum Requirements for Safety Standards

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) strictly regulates auto safety standards for new cars. Each new car must meet the minimum required safety standards mandated by the government. However, not all new cars are equally safe. While some auto manufacturers exceed the minimum federal safety standards, others are not as proactive in providing numerous additional safety measures. The rest is left up to the driver to follow general safety guidelines.

Auto Insurance: Choosing a New Car

While much attention is paid to the outside of the car when at the car dealership, it is also important to learn about the safety features on the inside of the car. These safety features not only prevent injury, but also help to lower the cost of auto insurance. When choosing a new car, drivers should look for:

Front and side curtain airbags;

Telescoping steering wheel that allows for the driver to sit further away from the steering column (prevents injury from a deploying airbag in the case of an auto accident);
Adjustable head restraints that can be locked into place;
Seatbelts that engage quickly and with little slack;
Daytime running lights;
Anti-lock brakes;
Anti-theft systems.

It is very important to look for safety features on the car itself. However, safety features in and of themselves won’t prevent an auto accident. Good driving habits are just as important, if not more so– and learning how to drive safely will also lead to lower auto insurance premiums.

Auto Insurance: Car Safety Tips for Drivers

Buying a new car with an array of modern-day safety features goes a long way to reducing one’s auto insurance premiums. However, it is also very important for the driver to maintain good driving habits and a clean driving history. This means getting fewer (if any) traffic citations and avoiding auto accidents. To lower their auto insurance premiums, drivers should:

Never talk on a cell phone or text while driving;
Never drink and drive (even if the driver has had only one drink);
Never turn around and talk to passengers in the back seat while driving;
Be a proactive, defensive driver keenly aware of his or her surroundings;
Anticipate the actions of other drivers and react accordingly;
Not be distracted by the car’s stereo system;
Obey the rules of the road: full stops at stop signs, slowdown on yellow lights, and observe the speed limit at all times.

When looking to buy a new car, examining its safety features such as airbags, daytime running lights, and anti-lock brakes is an important factor in the decision-making process. But equally important is strictly following basic car safety guidelines including no talking or texting on a cell phone and driving defensively. Together, these measures will help to lower the driver’s auto insurance premiums.