update: Jul. 10, 2018 –
In many states, if you are caught using a cell phone while driving you will receive a ticket and have to pay a fine. Some states have taken it a step further and will even add points to your driving record. For example, New Yorkers can receive 3 points on their driving record, a fine as high as $150 and an additional fine as high as $100 if they are caught texting on their phone.
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Will Your Rates Increase? That Depends…
There is no industry standard as to whether or not a cell phone ticket will effect your auto insurance policy. This means that each provider can have a different attitude towards phone use violations. Thus, whether or not your rates will raise from a cell phone ticket will vary from provider to provider. While one company may leave your rates untouched after your first violation, another may decide to increase your rates up to 20%.
Typically, points on your license will always result in an increase on your insurance rates, but the amount depends on your insurance company.
In addition, insurance providers can react more extremely when your cell phone violation is a repeated offense. If you are lucky enough that they don’t raise your rates after your first violation, being a repeat offender will most likely convince them you are a risky driver to insure. Thus, the second and all subsequent tickets will most likely be taken more into account than the first. Multiple tickets may result in even the most lenient insurance provider to increase your premiums.
One thing that is sure to complicate the issue is if you were the cause of an accident because you were talking or texting using your cell phone. Any accident will always result in higher premiums, but in this case your insurance company could increase your rates more than normal because you displayed negligence while driving.
How to Avoid Cell Phone Tickets
If you are someone that regularly talks on the phone while driving and live in a state that allows cell phone use in hands-free mode, one solution would be to purchase a headset in order to avoid problems.
Visit AAA.com’s Distracted Driving Laws by State here to see your state’s current regulations
However, the best way to avoid ever getting a cell phone ticket is simply to vow to never use a cell phone while driving. Not only will this protect you from any potential insurance rate increases, but it will also substantially decrease the chance that you end up in a life threatening car accident. Here is a video that does a good job of simulating how much talking on a cell phone effects the quality of your driving.
If you are a teenager it’s important you understand that you are most likely banned from using any kind of electronic device while driving. This includes hands-free use, often up to the age 21. Learn what laws apply to your state here.
The Future is Unknown
The government is cracking down on cell phone usage while driving at the moment. Numerous campaigns have been organized and many states are starting to make changes in order to discourage this practice. It is possible that insurance providers will also change their policies in the near future in order to reflect this.
*Source: New York State Police