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7 lucrative driving habits for South Africans

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

With rising fuel prices, an economic recession and dwindling household cash flows, it’s safe to say that most South Africans are looking for any opportunity to spend a little less and make every rand count.

Your car, that most critically important (but inevitably depreciating) asset, can quickly become a never-ending sinkhole for your disposable cash, thanks to insurance, fuel and maintenance costs. But what if we told you that simply altering your driving behaviour could save you on all three? It’s the way you drive that ultimately dictates how much fuel you use, and how much wear and tear your car endures between services. These are the 7 driving behaviours you’ll have to master to reduce costs, prevent accidents, and, for Dialdirect clients, get great cash-back bonuses with the Dialdirect Insurance App.

Going easy on the brakes

Did you know that hard braking is the most likely predictor that you’ll end up in an accident in the future? Not only that, it also wreaks havoc on your vehicle, and we’re not just talking about the brakes themselves. Not only will harsh braking wear down your brake pads more quickly, it also exposes your tyres to more friction and rapidly wears down the rubber, meaning you’ll have to replace them more frequently.

Resisting the temptation to use your phone while driving

We get it. Traffic is boring. But what’s even more of a drag is the endless bills you could end up with if your favourite way to beat the rush-hour boredom is on your smartphone. Diverting your attention from the road makes it much more likely you might end up in a collision (a US study of truck drivers found that texting elevated the risk of a crash or near-crash to more than 23 times higher than “non-distracted” driving). What’s more, being caught breaking the law carries some pretty hefty financial penalties, too.

Slower acceleration

Every car owner loves the feeling of going full-throttle every now and again. The problem is that the faster you accelerate, the harder you’ll have to brake, and as we’ve seen, aggressive braking is definitely bad news. Hard acceleration also burns a lot more fuel. It’s estimated that driving at speed in low gears can increase your petrol bills by as much as 45%. Try to resist the urge to drive this way, and you could save a bundle on both your fuel and repair bills. Pull away gently!

Not speeding

Driving too fast wastes petrol, increases your car’s emissions, and puts you at a greater risk of getting into an accident. But did you know that it’s also bad for your engine? Speeding places your engine under stress by forcing it to work harder to circulate fuel, pushing the engine’s moving parts to work at speeds that wear down the components more quickly.

Limiting distances

More kilometres driven means more wear and tear on your vehicle and more chances to get into an accident. Simple logic, right? Try carpooling with a friend to work, or consider making more use of public transport systems to cut down on repair, maintenance and fuel costs (and be a little more eco-friendly while you’re at it). Uber, Taxify and other ride-hailing apps are also a convenient and affordable option to help cut down on your total driving distances.

Driving less at night

Night-driving comes with a very different set of risks to driving during the daylight hours. Less traffic means more people speeding, and dark, unlit roads increase the chances of an accident, due to poor visibility or even getting your precious car stolen. South Africa is also notorious for its high levels of drunk driving, so we think it’s better to simply avoid driving at night as much as possible.

Route risk optimisation

Any South African knows there are the “good” roads and the “bad” roads in every city, but we sometimes take more risks than we should, all in the name of a shortcut that can shave a few minutes off our trip. By optimising your route for the lowest possible risk (made conveniently easy through technologies like Dialdirect’s Insurance App), you’re more likely to avoid theft and damage to your vehicle, saving cash on your insurance policy premiums and keeping yourself safer at the same time.

More cash in your pocket, a healthier, better-running car for longer, and a much better standard of safety for you as the driver, what’s not to love? Click here to find out more about the Dialdirect Insurance App and how it could make you a better (and richer) driv