Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health in...

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Written by Rachael Brennan
Licensed Insurance Agent Rachael Brennan

Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Reviewed by Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyer Jeffrey Johnson

UPDATED: Jun 29, 2022

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In a nutshell...

  • Good drivers will benefit by paying less in car insurance payments and tickets
  • To maintain the driving status of a good driver, one must practice and obey the driving laws
  • A good driver is normally associated with defensive driving skills, rather than a bad driver

Many different classifications qualify someone as a good driver. Young drivers are not considered good drivers because they do not have enough experience behind the wheel.

It’s important to remember that while some people may consider a person to be a good driver car insurance companies often have a different perspective based on collective data from groups of people with the same profile.

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What is a good driver?

The road is filled with many good and bad drivers; however, just because someone makes one single mistake while they are operating a vehicle, does not make them a bad driver.

Drivers are bound to make mistakes, and that is how accidents happen. However, good drivers make a few mistakes on the road.

Good drivers tend to have:

  • Consistent focus
  • Ability to follow driving laws
  • Knowledge of driving
  • Good skill behind the wheel, which typically comes with experience

A good driver is someone whom you can trust with your life if you have to be in the car for an extended period or a long road trip.

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What is a bad driver?

Bad drivers are often identified as young people who have just obtained their licenses and have no responsibility or experience on the road.

If someone is a timid beginner who drives slowly and cautiously, it does not necessarily mean they are a terrible driver; they lack experience.

A person has been driving for five years can be labeled as a mediocre driver despite their experience if they are:

  • Disobeying driving laws
  • Speeding excessively
  • Endangering other people’s lives

The reasoning for marking young, new drivers as high-risk drivers is because statistics show their focus is typically not 100 percent on the road.

They may be distracted easily by their friends, and are sometimes not mature enough to realize that driving fast is unsafe rather than “the cool thing to do.”

What is defensive driving?

Defensive driving is an excellent skill to possess as a driver and can either be learned from the beginning or learned with experience.

A good driver is usually associated with defensive driving skills, rather than a bad driver.

Having good defensive driving skills means that the driver:

  • Accelerates with caution
  • Stops for red lights
  • Is aware of their surroundings, including brake lights in the distance

Though the line of cars may not come to a complete stop, the defensive driver will be ready if it may stop abruptly.

A driver who does not possess defensive skills would accelerate immediately once they see a green light, despite the slow acceleration of the cars in front of them.

They might also continue to tailgate the car in front of them to push them to go faster, which may potentially endanger both vehicles.

What is tailgating?

Tailgating is a bad habit that many drivers possess.

Typically, irresponsible, careless drivers tend to tailgate more than good drivers; however, even a generally good driver may manage to get a little irritated now and then too.

Tailgating occurs when a car gets very close to the bumper of the car in front of them to let them know that they are driving too slowly.

Although tailgating is dangerous and not always successful, it’s a common driving strategy.

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Can someone go from being a bad driver to a good driver?

Yes. Although someone may start out as a bad driver, with experience and time, they can possess the qualities of a good driver.

For a bad driver to become a good driver, they must learn to:

  • Appropriately follow all of the driving laws
  • Maintain a decent speed limit
  • Drive with focus

Their focus must be 100 percent dedicated to the road, rather than the people in the car with them, and they should be thinking maturely when making driving decisions.

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