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Will Tickets From Texting While Driving Increase My Car Insurance Rates?

Due to the fact that pretty much everyone owns a cell phone these days, more police officers are starting to crack down on people that think that they can get away with texting while driving. Sending a text message while operating a motor vehicle puts a lot of people at serious risk for accidents and injuries on the road. The latest laws in many cities and states encourage policemen to give out tickets to drivers that are caught texting while driving. The purpose of giving them a ticket is so that they stop the risky behavior while driving.

Texting While Driving Commercial (Video)

Anytime you are texting, it means your eyes are looking down at your phone. You are not concentrating on the road and aren’t thinking about your surroundings. I guarantee your insurance company would not want to find out that you are an individual who sends text messages while driving. Why? Because it increases the likelihood that you will lose control and get into an accident. When you send a text, you typically will have to remove one hand from the steering wheel too – overall texting is a major hazard that American drivers face these days.

Will getting a ticket for texting while driving increase car insurance rates?

Most people that have been pulled over and issued a ticket for texting while driving want to know whether the ticket will increase their auto insurance premiums. Currently as of 2011, there are only 27 states in the U.S. that have decided to deem sending text messages on your cell phone an illegal activity. The other 23 states have passed minor laws in specific cities that make it illegal, but they have not pushed through to make the laws statewide.

If you happen to be in a state where it is illegal to text and drive, and were issued a ticket, you probably are wondering how your insurance rates will be affected, right? Keep in mind that anytime you are issued an official ticket, whether it’s for speeding, a parking violation, etc. – your insurance rates could potentially increase. This means that the amount of money you pay per month on your premiums could go up. If you just get a warning, you don’t really have as much to worry about (read: “Will getting a warning increase my car insurance rates?” for more information).

How much will my insurance go up for a texting violation?

If you are caught texting and are given a ticket, it is tough to say exactly how much your insurance premiums will increase. The reason that it’s tough to estimate the price increase is because there are a number of other factors that your insurance companies will take into account. They will look at whether this violation was your first offense, the number of previous tickets you have been issued, whether you have been “at fault” for any accidents, and more. If you have gotten previous tickets (e.g. for speeding) you can bet that your price will increase more than someone who received their first ticket from texting.

States that have banned texting while driving:

  1. Arkansas
  2. California
  3. Colorado
  4. Connecticut
  5. Delaware
  6. Georgia
  7. Illinois
  8. Indiana
  9. Iowa
  10. Louisiana
  11. Maryland
  12. Massachusetts
  13. Michigan
  14. Minnesota
  15. Nevada
  16. New Hampshire
  17. New Jersey
  18. New York
  19. North Carolina
  20. Oregon
  21. Tennessee
  22. Utah
  23. Vermont
  24. Virginia
  25. Washington
  26. Wisconsin
  27. Wyoming

Best bet: Put away your cell phone

Your best bet in order to avoid getting a ticket, keep yourself safe as a driver, and not put other drivers at risk is to put away your cell phone while driving. Do whatever you need to in order to prevent yourself from sending a text message while driving.

If you are driving with a passenger, have them do the texting for you so that you don’t have to worry about taking your eyes off the road and hands off the steering wheel to send the text. Plus, if you do get caught texting, getting a ticket is probably one of the best things that could have happened to you. Why? Because it will (hopefully) make you aware that sending text messages is a serious problem.

Additionally, you can expect that your insurance rates will increase as a result of texting. There is no telling how much your insurance company will raise your premiums, but my guess is that they will still go up. Paying greater amounts of money towards your premiums should also be a lesson to make smarter decisions on the road and keep your cell phone out of the equation.

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