From road rage to texting, Australian drivers admit to bad habits behind the wheel

Person standing in front of car collision talking on phone to insurance provider looking worried.

While you may always endeavour to obey road rules, mistakes can and do happen when driving – that’s part of the reason all drivers require some level of car insurance in Australia. 

For greater insight into driver behaviour, dash cam manufacturer Nextbase commissioned surveys of more than 2,000 people to ask them how safe they perceive themselves and other drivers to be.

Just over half of those surveyed said they didn’t have any bad driving habits, but a substantial 80% said they have experienced road rage from other drivers.

When it comes to their own questionable actions, 23% of drivers admitted to exceeding the speed limit and 7% said they text while driving. One in five also said they had spent money on accident-related repairs to their car over the last 12 months.

But what does this all mean for your car insurance?

Can demerit points affect the cost of your car insurance?

Your history as a driver is taken into consideration when insurance companies assess your application for cover and set car insurance premiums. While a myriad other factors contribute to the cost of car insurance – including your age, gender, where you live and the kind of car you drive – your actions on the road and history of claiming on car insurance are part of this equation.

If you’re caught out while disobeying road rules, demerit points may be issued against your licence. While every insurance provider deals with this differently, demerit points may affect your car insurance as a provider could see you as a greater insurance risk and increase your premium accordingly. 

You’ll likely be asked if you have any demerit points when taking out a car insurance policy, so it may be worth checking with your relevant state or territory services to be sure you’re supplying accurate information. 

What should you do if you’re involved in a car crash?

What’s required of you in the event of a road accident will depend on the situation you find yourself in. Minor collisions and serious accidents may demand different actions, and there are some things you should remember to do if you were not the person who caused the accident or could not be considered ‘at-fault’ in an insurance assessment.

For detailed information on these various car accident scenarios, read Mozo’s step-by-step guide on what to do if you’re involved in a car accident.

In general, the things you should remember to do include staying calm and ensuring anyone involved in the incident is safe. If it’s safe to do so, put your hazard lights on and make sure damaged vehicles or debris aren’t impeding other road users. If anyone requires medical assistance, call emergency services on 000.

If appropriate, your next job is to exchange contact and insurance info with the other people involved. Your car insurance claim may be processed more efficiently if you also note down details like the date and time of the incident and collect evidence like photos of the damage to your car and the road conditions. You may also need to contact police to lodge a report or call animal rescue services to assist injured wildlife, depending on the circumstances.

No matter the kind of incident you’re facing, it pays to have the best car insurance that suits your needs as a driver. You can start comparing options with a few of the policies below.

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