5 Reasons Your Driving History is Important to Your Career and Wealth
You don't have to be a transportation worker to find yourself in a career that requires at least some driving. Realtors must drive to show properties; executives travel for meetings; and people who work in sales must travel to meet potential clients. The U.S. Department of Labor reports that every year around 30% of civilian jobs require driving a passenger vehicle for a job-related task at some point during the year. With so much driving happening in different careers from different industries, your driving history reflects an important aspect of your job skills and career. Having a poor driving history not only looks bad to employers, but it can end up costing you money. There are multiple reasons to drive like the professional you are when you are at work and off-duty. Here are 5 important reasons to keep your driving history as clean as your credit.
1. Interest Rates on Loans
If you're in the market for a new car and you don't have the cash to cover the expense yourself, you're going to need an auto loan. With an auto loan, you'll also want to get the best auto loan rates. In some states, a bad driving history can result in higher interest rates. A driving history that includes speeding tickets, accidents and traffic violations can be an indication of risky behavior to the lender. A lender might not only raise the interest on your loan, but they may also require a higher down payment to offset the risk of financing your loan. Unless you can pay cash for your auto, it might save you money on your next loan to have a clean driving history.
2. Prospective Employment and Career Advancement
Since a vast number of careers require driving, when employers look to hire you, there's a good chance they're going to look at more than just your references. The company considering you may also look at your driving history. When you sign that release for your driving record, you'll have no worries with a good driving history; but, even one accident that shows you were at fault could cost you that next step up in your career progression. Having one or two minor traffic infractions isn't likely to harm your chances, but having a clear record makes you a stronger candidate for the position. It shows your prospective employer that you are responsible and professional.
3. Insurance Premiums
Most people know a bad driving record leads to higher insurance premiums, but they may not realize a major driving offense can lead to higher premiums for up to 10 years. Even one minor traffic violation, such as speeding 1-15 miles per hour over the posted speed limit, can raise your premiums by 20% for the next three years. Everything from simple seat belt citations to failure to stop can have an impact on the cash flowing from your bank account to your insurance provider. On the other hand, many insurance companies offer a good driver discount which rewards you for a clean driving record.
4. Gas Mileage
If you like to put the pedal to the metal, you must have money to burn, in addition to gas. The difference in driving 55 miles per hour versus 75 miles per hour can raise your fuel consumption by as much as 20 percent. In a world that is increasingly looking to lower carbon emissions, unless you're driving an electric vehicle, speeding is putting your disregard for the planet on full display. If you're driving on your company's time, it's also unprofessional.
Other driving habits that can potentially impact your fuel economy include how fast you accelerate and and brake. Good driving practices can make that tank of gas last longer.
5. Repairs and Maintenance
Another area you'll suffer monetarily from aggressive driving is on repairs and maintenance expenses for your vehicle. Fast driving gives you less time to react. If you don't have time to avoid a pothole in the road because you're flying over the posted limit, the result could be an expensive suspension repair for your vehicle, or even worse, your company's vehicle. Even if your insurance covers the repair, you'll still be out the deductible and your premiums are likely to be adjusted to cover future costs associated with your neglectful driving habits.
As you can see, you can save yourself a lot of money while having the potential to make more money when you choose to drive responsibly. Driving responsible is also professional. It reflects well on you and the company that employs you. The next time you're tempted to take risks on the road, think about your career and your wallet.