How Distracted Driving Tickets Increase Your Car Insurance
Distracted driving campaigns are popping up all across the country with more frequency than ever before! The goal is to drive home the message that distracted driving is dangerous. The fines keep going up, there are now demerit points at stake, and there are auto insurance implications to consider as well.
According to the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA), driver distraction is an increasing problem. CAA reports it is a factor in more than four million crashes each year in North America. One third of us still admit to texting and driving, and the average driver checks that cell phone once every six minutes!
Safety is certainly the most important factor to consider here.
Studies show that the driver is 23 times more likely to get into an accident when they are using their phone. Distracted driving is arguably as dangerous as getting behind the wheel while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. It is reported by CAA that it has become the number one cause of fatal crashes. This is serious. Unfortunately, not everyone is getting the message and law enforcement has had enough. Is it really worth sending that text or taking that call?
Increased rates and loss of discount -that’s a double whammy.
Let’s also consider the bottom line; just how does a ticket like this affect your insurance rates in the long run?
Most drivers with a clean driving record receive up to a 15% discount on their annual policy premiums. One ticket and you lose that.
A fine for distracted driving could cause an increase in your auto insurance premiums and stays on your record for three years. The first offence may see an increase of approximately 5%. A second offence could land you an annual increase of 10% and a third could very well mean the cancellation of your policy altogether.
Further, an at-fault collision can affect your auto insurance rates for six or more years, not to mention the emotional and physical repercussions that will stay with you much longer.
Prevent Distracted Driving
It’s simple. Put the phone away. Do not answer that call or text while driving. It is far too dangerous, risky and costly. You can also equip yourself with hands free or use the vehicle Bluetooth if you have it. Technology is catching up to the times, but it never replaces common sense safety. If you really must use the phone, safely pull over.
CAA lists these tips for your safety!
- Allow phone calls to go to voicemail
- Do not text, surf the web or read emails
- Do not eat, drink or groom
- Do not smoke
- Stop at safe locations (rest stops or commuter lots) to make and receive calls
- Keep two hands on the wheel for better control and less fatigue
- Keep your eyes and mind on the road