The Advantage Blog

The Costly Impact of Traffic Tickets on Car Insurance Rates

Looking in your rear view mirror and seeing those red and blue lights flashing can be unnerving and embarrassing.  Along with fines associated with moving traffic violations, it is highly likely that your insurance rates will be impacted significantly.

All insurance is based on matching the premiums paid to the risk a driver presents.  In a recent blog post by Terry Sheridan of, he used data from the largest auto insurers compiled by Insurance and Quadrant Information Services to calculate the impact of various traffic violations on insurance premiums.

Driving Under the Influence
It comes as no surprise that getting a ticket for a DUI will affect your insurance rates more than any other violation.  According to the data collected by Insurance the average premium increase is 93%.  Have more than one DUI and you are likely to become uninsurable.

Reckless Driving
Reckless driving is right up there with drunken driving as one of the biggest offenses that will guarantee a hike in your insurance rate. The definition of reckless driving varies from state to state, but it generally means that you intentionally ignore the safety of other people or property.

A reckless driving ticket can increase premiums an average of 82 percent.  Violations can also bring severe penalties including jail time.

Careless Driving
Similar in some respects to reckless driving, careless driving is considered driving unintentionally in a risky manner, such as by changing lanes without signaling.  It is a lesser violation but will impact your insurance rates by 27% on average.

Some insurers may initially waive a first speeding ticket if it’s less than 10 mph over the limit.  In Indiana certain jurisdictions will give you options on handling speeding tickets in order to keep them off your driving record.  These include participating in a Deferral Program or Driver Safety Program.

Getting a speeding ticket can up your premium on average 21% to 30% depending on how fast you were going over the speed limit. Multiple speeding tickets will bring you ever increasing insurance costs and get enough of them and you run the risk of having your insurance cancelled.

Running a Red Light
Intentionally going through an intersection after its traffic signal turns red, rolling through a stop sign, or failing to stop completely before turning right on red will likely get you pulled over by your local law enforcement officer.

Ignoring traffic signals can impact your insurance premiums in the wrong direction by 19% on average. Red-light runners often have a history of accidents, DUIs, speeding and other violations, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Avoid Bad Driving Habits
Many of the infractions that lead to higher insurance rates are a result of poor driving habits and failing to concentrate on the task at hand.  Avoid distractions, watch your speed, and don’t drink and drive and the probability of being ticketed go way, way down.  In turn … keeping your insurance premiums much, much lower.

Have Questions on Your Auto Insurance
Have questions on your auto insurance policy?  Give us a call at The Mitchell Agency at 765-742-1135 to discuss your insurance needs.