How Your Driver’s Abstract Can Limit Your Life
Maintaining a good record in any aspect of life is a tricky and even scary thing. After all, it’s so easy to ruin a good reputation. One of the most delicate records you’ll ever have to maintain in your life is your driver’s abstract. It’s like trying to handle a hot pot of water – if you slip or trip, it could burn you. The same reigns true for a driving record. If you’re careless in terms of how you drive, you could easily spoil your abstract with “marks” that will scare away the various institutions who refer to it (whom we’ll identify soon). So it makes to appreciate the impact your driving record has on your life.
Making it Clear: The Effects of a Bad Record
In the past, we’ve discussed the concept of a “ripple effect”, such as how bad credit can affect your life as a whole. Well guess what, a driver’s abstract has the same power. Everyone knows what a bad driving record means for driving – just think about people at accident scenes who’d rather pay for someone else’s damages instead of going through their insurance companies. But the effects go beyond that. There are other areas in your life that can suffer because of having a driving record that’s not the best.
Insurance rates skyrocket
To state the obvious, yes, a bad driving record will send your insurance rates through the roof. Racking up a claim upon claim or conviction after conviction might get your premium cancelled altogether, forcing you to seek coverage with high-risk insurers, known to charge much higher rates. It’s not uncommon to hear stories about some people who don’t even bother to drive at a certain point. It’s just too expensive to insure their cars.
Fewer job opportunities
If you plan to work in a cubicle or some office-like setting, don’t worry too much about your driving abstract. However, if a job requires you to drive, a bad record is a dead end. Careers in the transportation, construction and logistic industries might be greatly restricted if not completely off the table for those with a bad record. And in this economy, limited job prospects doesn’t do anyone any good. For those of you with childhood dreams of being a police officer or a pilot, a criminal offense related to driving, such as a DUI, may force you to hang it up. It’s a devastating consequence for convicted drunk drivers.
A criminal record
Now let’s say you really push the law’s buttons. In other words, you get into something bigger than a minor accident, or a speeding ticket. A good example of this would be a DUI. At this point, you’d be facing much more than a traffic offense, you’d now have a criminal charge. The insurance costs would be staggering, but more importantly, the law would recognize you as a criminal. That label affects your job prospects, ability to travel, and voting rights. Additionally, there’s the stigma that comes with being known as a drunk driver – family members, friends and your colleagues will certainly look at you differently, and that can affect you emotionally for years to come. It’s a heavy charge to receive.
As mentioned in the previous section, you risk losing certain privileges if your driving record is poor. One of those things is travel. Crossing the border or walking through customs at an airport could be an ordeal, if you’ve got criminal charges related to driving on your record. The same goes for unpaid tickets. Also, depending on the nature of your charge, you may not even be allowed to leave the country. Apart from travelling, other privileges such as serving on jury duty and voting may be revoked from you.
If you and your significant other are considering adopting a baby, beware of your driving habits! A less-than-stellar driving record can make it difficult to adopt a youngster, especially if your abstract is carrying a slew of charges and major offenses. Adoption agencies want to ensure that prospective parents are suitable for the role of child-rearing, and criminal charges such as a DUI may suggest that an individual takes risks that may have an effect on a kid. True, a DUI could be in someone’s past, and they could still be “morally upright” in other aspects of life, but an adoption agency may see them as being too risky to raise a child.
Keeping it Clean
It goes without saying that the key to avoid these consequences is by keeping your driving record clean. Some of the things mentioned above (such as a DUI), are easy to avoid. However, it can be hard to steer away from other things, such as accidents since they could be a mistake (even if a driver is deemed to be at fault). Fortunately, you can do a lot to keep your record in good shape.
Practice Defensive Driving
There will be times when other drivers put you in precarious situations, which means that if an accident occurs, you could be at fault even if the other driver put you in a position to cause the accident. That’s where defensive driving techniques come handy. These practices can help you dodge careless drivers and road hazards, so that you escape the damages, injuries and costs associated with collisions.
Don’t Break the Law!
Here’s the easy part – staying within the legal boundaries. If a posted sign says the maximum speed is 80 km/h, don’t maintain a speed of 100 km/h or more – you’ll probably get pulled over eventually. Additionally, seemingly small things, such as stopping at a stop sign or making illegal U-turns should be avoided as well. They too, can land you some hefty fines and tickets which will also appear on your driver’s abstract.
Avoid Lending Your Car to Just Anyone
Believe it or not, this can be a tricky piece of advice to listen to. It can be hard to tell a family member or close friend that they can’t borrow your car, especially if you’ve enjoyed a close relationship with them for many years. But if they are risk-takers or have bad records themselves, you should think twice about letting them use your car. Your insurance rates can still rise even if someone else gets in trouble with your car. Also, why should you subject yourself to paying off damages which you didn’t even cause? Save yourself the trouble!
You Can Leave a Good Driving Legacy Behind
With all that’s been said, it’s easy to turn into an anxious driver. You might feel that trying to keep a good driving record is like trying to keep your balance while walking on a tension wire suspended between two buildings (a.k.a. walking on a tightrope). But none of this should scare you. If anything, it should merely serve as a reminder to take care while you’re cruising along the roads. Accidents and other road mishaps can happen, but being aware of the consequences of a poor driving record will motivate you to drive carefully and avoid law-breaking behaviour. Keep that in mind, and you’ll be fine.