Texting while Driving Can Cause Higher Insurance Premiums
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It’s not surprising given the convenience of smartphones that so many people are texting, but the dangers of being distracted behind the wheel are real, and the results may lead to receiving a ticket or worse, being injured or killed in an accident.
Based on the latest statistics from the National Safety Council, the danger of driving while texting is considerable with many people unaware of the risk involved.
- 3,154 people died in 2013 while being distracted when driving their vehicles
- Roughly 330,000 injuries occur annually due to accidents caused by texting while driving
- About 25% of all car accidents are caused by texting while driving
- Texting is six times more likely to cause an accident compared to driving under the influence
- 11 Teenagers die every day in accidents caused by texting while driving
The statistics are harsh but real as the dangers of texting while operating a vehicle become more apparent. When driving at 55mph, taking your eyes off the road for five seconds means that your vehicle will travel the distance of a football field. It’s little wonder that with rising accident, injury, and death tolls that local and state governments are taking action.
Fines for Texting while Driving
State and local governments around the country are taking preventative action to address the concern over texting while driving. The result is that most areas of the country issue tickets for those who are caught texting or even being on their phone while operating their vehicles.
There are variations in terms of how the texting and driving tickets are enforced, but fines can range from $50 up to $200 or more depending on the local or state ordinance that is being violated.
In some localities, tickets for texting while behind the wheel can only be done when the car is stopped for other reasons such as speeding or reckless driving. However, in most cases, the vehicle can be pulled over simply by the officer seeing driving texting or using their phone while driving on the road.
Does a Texting Ticket Raise Insurance?
The answer is yes. Although not as severe as being charged with a DUI or DWI, being caught texting while driving may raise your insurance rates 10% or higher depending on your driving record.
While one incident may have a minimal effect on your premiums based on previous driving history, several texting while driving tickets will not only drive up your rates but also add to the points against your driver’s license. In some cases, your driver’s license may be suspended because of repeated tickets for texting while behind the wheel.
To keep you safer behind the wheel and to protect your insurance rates, it is recommended that you ignore your smartphone or pull over and stop before using it to call, answer, or text.