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    How Traffic Violations Affect Your Insurance Rates

    If you've ever received a ticket for a traffic violation, you've probably seen an increase in your insurance rate. As you'd expect, some tickets raise your premium higher than others, depending on the type of violation.  

    Auto insurance comparison website The Zebra recently shared its compilation of 28 common violations and their big impact on insurance rates. In its research, The Zebra notes that the trend of people driving recklessly in 2021 continues into 2022.    In May, we shared with you NHTSA numbers showing a 10.5 percent increase in traffic fatalities in 2021 over 2020, with the highest number of fatalities recorded since 2005. The NHTSA also reported that fatalities attributed to speeding-related crashes were up 5% in 2021.

    Reckless driving behavior is first and foremost a danger for everyone on the road. Beyond that it can result in pricey tickets and court costs, and higher auto insurance rates. As we all know, insurance companies look at driving violations when calculating policies. According to The Zebra, drivers with violations could see their car insurance costs rise from anywhere between 2% to 70% ($31-$1,077) on average.  Those violations typically stay on a person’s driving record for at least three years.

    The amount drivers pay for breaking traffic laws depends on the violation and which state they live in. In The Zebra's latest study researchers found that four high-risk violations can more than double car insurance rates by raising premiums more than 60% from a single ticket.  These include violations related to racing, driving while intoxicated and refusal to submit to a chemical test. 

    The traffic violation with the single most significant impact on car insurance rates?  A hit-and-run offense. Drivers charged with this can expect to pay an average of 70% (or $1,077) more per year for car insurance.

    The Zebra's chart below shows the national average rate increase after 28 common violations.   

    Accident/Violation

    Cost

    $ Increase

    % Increase

     

     

     

     

    Leaving scene of an accident (hit and run)

    $2,606

    $1,070 

    70%

    Racing

    $2,530

    $1,001

    65%

    DUI

    $2,475

    $946

    62%

    Refusal to submit to a chemical test

    $2,456

    $927

    61%

    Reckless driving

    $2,417

    $888

    58%

    Driving with a suspended license

    $2,415

    $886

    58%

    At-fault accident greater than $2000

    $2,194

    $665

    43%

    At-fault accident $1000-$2000

    $2,156

    $627

    41%

    Open container

    $2,059

    $530

    35%

    Operating a vehicle without permission

    $1,938

    $409

    27%

    Passing school bus

    $1,937

    $408

    27%

    At-fault accident less than $1000

    $1,921

    $392

    26%

    Improper passing

    $1,879

    $350

    23%

    Following too closely

    $1,873

    $344

    23%

    Speeding

    $1,869

    $340

    22%

    Wrong way wrong lane

    $1,865

    $336

    22%

    Illegal turn

    $1,855

    $326

    21%

    Failure to yield

    $1,855

    $326

    21%

    Failure to stop at a red light

    $1,854

    $325

    21%

    Texting while driving

    $1,851

    $322

    21%

    Cell phone violation

    $1,849

    $320

    21%

    Driving too slowly

    $1,841

    $312

    20%

    Driving with expired registration

    $1,805

    $276

    18%

    Failure to show documents

    $1,735

    $206

    13%

    Child safety restraint

    $1,709

    $180

    12%

    Driving without lights

    $1,708

    $179

    5%

    Seat belt

    $1,690

    $161

    11%

    Not-at-fault accidents

    $1,569

    $40

    3%

     

    Most Expensive Driving Violations by State (Car Pro Radio Show Markets)


    • Arizona - Hit and run
    • California - Driving with a Suspended License
    • Georgia - Hit and run
    • Kansas - Hit and run
    • Louisiana - Open container
    • Montana - Racing & hit and run
    • Ohio - Hit and Run
    • Oregon - Hit and Run
    • Texas - Reckless Driving

    See the complete list by state here.


    Claims and Insurance Rates

    Also before you file an insurance claim, the Zebra says to keep in mind that it can impact your policy rate, too, even if you're not at fault. The Zebra notes that drivers may also see insurance penalties for getting into accidents and filing claims for the damage. Things that can impact how much a claim raises rates includes who was at fault, the size of the claim and the terms of the driver’s insurance policy,

    Claim

    Cost

    $ Increase

    % Increase

    Two comp* claims

    $1,646

    $117

    8%

    Two Med-PIP** claims

    $1,560

    $31

    2%

    One comp claim

    $1,570

    $41

    3%

     


    *Comp claim: A comprehensive claim is designed to cover damage outside the driver’s control (theft, vandalism, weather damage, etc.)

    **Med-PIP claim: Medical pay and personal injury protection are claims that cover damages to you or your passengers (both medical and things like lost wages) when injured in a crash.

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    Photo Credit: peterfactors/Shutterstock.com.