Violating traffic rules is a sign of a driver who is likely to cause a serious accident one of those days. And often statistical evidence backs this assumption. Most traffic moving violation convictions will go on Motor Vehicle Records (MVR) and typically vehicle insurance companies will charge higher rates after seeing them when they check your MVR. Certainly, some of the tickets will be frowned upon more than others and result in higher car insurance rate increases, as discussed below.
Hit and Run Ticket
Leaving the scene of an accident, also known as hit and run, conviction is the traffic violation with the biggest impact on vehicle insurance rates. According to the Zebra article, drivers charged with this crime can expect to pay on average 82% more per annum for car insurance. Motorists are expected to stop when they are involved in an accident and not only exchange details but also assist people. People who are charged with a hit and run incident can face fines, license suspension and even jail sentence. The outcome will significantly be affected in the type of an accident and whether there were injuries.
Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
Being drunk while driving impairs abilities substantially that increases the chances of accidents seriously. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), about 31% of all traffic crash fatalities in the US involved drunk drivers in 2021. NHTSA says that Drivers with BACs of .08 g/dL or higher involved in fatal crashes were 4 times more likely to have prior convictions for driving while impaired than were drivers with no alcohol. That is why a DUI on a driving record puts a driver in the highest risk category on its own.
Not only nearly all auto insurers will hike rates substantially after knowing the driver has a DUI on record but also a few of them may not even offer a quote. According to the Forbes article, a DUI on a driving record can increase vehicle insurance premiums on average 70%. But the increase can be a lot more or less depending on the state you live in.
Furthermore, DUIs stay on your records between 5 to 10 years depending on the state. And in nearly all states, your driver license will be suspended after a DUI conviction.
Reckless driving can be described as knowingly ignoring the safety of others. In other words, the driver knows the likely outcome will be very serious and still continues with engaging in such practices. So, someone who is charged with reckless driving is known to take a few chances while driving and this is the main reason for substantial premium increases.
A reckless driving conviction can increase auto insurance rates by 61% on average, according to the Forbes study. Again, this increase substantially changes depending on the state and in some cases depending on the circumstances. For example, if the reckless driving conviction is issued after an accident, this may lead to further increases due to the accident. It is considered one of the most dangerous acts behind the wheel and many auto insurance companies may not offer renewal terms after a reckless driving conviction.
A reckless driving conviction may result in fines, license suspension and even jail sentence that leads to a criminal record. So, not only it shows on driving records but also it can show on background checks and you may have to disclose when you apply to certain types of jobs. Here are the state-by-state definitions and penalties for reckless driving.
Driving with a Suspended License
Driving with a suspended or revoked driver license is a serious offence that shows total disregard to the laws. The fact that there must be another offense that led to license suspension makes it even worse by increasing the number of traffic violations on record.
Based on a study conducted by the NHTSA, individuals whose licenses had been suspended or revoked were found to be involved in fatal accidents nearly four times as frequently as the typical driver. And according to the same Zebra page, driving with a suspended license results in a car insurance premium increase of 62% on average.
Although there are other traffic tickets that can increase auto insurance more, speeding is one of the most common tickets and the chance of people getting repeat tickets are higher and there is a chance of it affecting your rates even more. Furthermore, speeding leads to more deaths. According to NHTSA reports, 29% of all traffic fatalities in 2021 was due to speeding. This figure is pretty close to alcohol related fatalities.
A speeding ticket increases car insurance rates by 23% on average but it can go up more for a repeat offense. Because of the above statistical reasons, most auto insurance companies won’t take speeding tickets lightly since speeding not only increases the chance of an accident but also high-speed crashes are costly for insurers.
There are many other tickets that increase your car insurance rates nearly as much as a speeding ticket according to the same Zebra study and they are; improper passing, failure to stop at a red light, illegal turn, passing a school bus, following too closely, driving wrong way or lane, failure to yield, driving too slowly and distracted driving.
It is important to note that not only motorists can get much higher vehicle insurance premium increases for multiple violations and accidents on driving records but also they can find it difficult to find insurance coverage. Many companies may not offer renewal terms to policyholders with too many issues on their records and other companies may hike their rates substantially.