The Benefits of a Good Driving Record for Bikers
As a motorcyclist, you know that it’s important to drive your bike as safely as you drive your car. After all, bikes are two-wheeled vehicles that require the same amount of care and attention to detail when on the road. The easy maneuverability of bikes can sometimes tempt riders to take unnecessary risks, but this can lead to accidents, injuries, higher insurance rates and expensive fines. Be sure you are driving safely – it could provide you with big benefits.
The Effects of a Bad Driving Record on Insurance Costs
Traffic citations typically go on your driving record. Depending on the state you live in, these citations may disappear after a certain number of years or live on your record permanently. As you accumulate more citations, the penalties generally become increasingly severe. Additionally, the more issues with your driving record, the more your motorcycle insurance is likely to cost. Insurers evaluate the risk of insuring each client, and if you have a long history of accidents or citations, your premium rate will most likely be higher than the rate of a motorcyclist who has a better driving record. Given these consequences, it is smart to keep your driving record as clean as possible by practicing safe driving habits.
Don’t Break the Law
One way to promote safety and help avoid citations and fines is to follow the rules of the road. Here are a few to keep in mind when you are driving your bike:
- Follow the speed limit.
- Do not use your phone while driving.
- Do not run stop lights or stop signs.
- Yield to pedestrians.
- Obey all traffic laws in construction and school zones.
Have Motorcycle Insurance and the Right Credentials
Being safe on your bike includes having the proper training and documentation. This usually includes:
- Registration—Motorcycles require proper registration, just like cars. If you do not keep your bike’s registration up to date, you may face penalties and restricted driving privileges.
- Motorcycle insurance—Most states require motorcyclists to carry minimum levels of motorcycle insurance. Generally, the more insurance you carry, the less you will need to pay out-of-pocket in the event of an accident. Be sure to speak to your insurance agent about finding a policy that’s right for you.
- License endorsements—Depending on where you live, you may need to apply for special licensing or endorsements.
- Safety class completion—While safety classes are not required everywhere, they are a good step to take to help ensure you are staying safe on the road. Through the completion of a safety class, you will be educated on best practices for driving your bike, possibly resulting in a lower rate of accidents and citations. This, in turn, can bring down the cost of your motorcycle insurance since you are maintaining a safe driving record.
“Safety first” is a good rule of thumb for all motorcyclists. Bikes pose significant risks to both their riders and other drivers on the road, which is why states take motorcycle safety very seriously. For example, many states have instituted mandatory helmet laws, and if you ride without proper protective gear, you could face severe penalties. It’s best to know and follow the law wherever you go in order to keep you and the people around you safe.
If you need help reviewing your driving record, contact your local DMV. Often, they can provide you with your record at little to no cost. Also, talk to your insurance agent about motorcycle insurance rates and policy add-ons to make sure you are financially protected on the road.