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Does Texting While Driving Increase Insurance Rates?

The invention of smartphones has done great things for our society. Information is now at our fingertips almost instantaneously, entertainment is always around, and people can stay connected with long-distance relatives and loved ones more easily. However, with the rise of smartphone technology, we have also seen a dramatic increase in distracted driving. One of the main culprits of distracted driving is texting and making phone calls. If you were caught texting while driving you may be concerned about whether or not it will affect your insurance rates or premiums. For more information and representation during your distracted driving case reach out to an experienced Bergen County traffic ticket attorney.

What is Distracted Driving?

Distracted driving is any action that a driver takes while driving that takes their attention away from the road. It is important to keep your eyes on the road at all times and be alert and aware of your surroundings. Cars are huge and heavy machines that can cause serious damage. If you are distracted you may not realize that the car in front of you stopped, the light turned red, you are veering off into another lane, etc.

Driving while distracted is exceptionally risky behavior. Whether you are texting, eating, drinking, changing the radio, typing on a GPS, or turning to say something to a passenger, any amount of time that you are distracted could result in a serious car wreck. Texting is one of the biggest causes of distracted driving and increases your likelihood of crashing by 23 times.

If I Get Caught Texting While Driving Will My Insurance Rates Go Up?

If you are caught texting while driving your insurance rates will surely increase. The amount that they increase will depend on the state you are in and the laws you face. In New Jersey, for example, the average person will see a 23% increase in insurance premiums after getting ticketed for texting while driving. Rate increases can range between 2% and 45% depending on your insurance company and the extent of your situation.

What Are Other Penalties for Texting While Driving?

New Jersey state law takes road safety extremely seriously. Because of this, the penalties if you are caught texting while driving can be quite severe.

A first offense for texting while driving will result in anywhere from $200 to $400 in fines. A second offense will cost you $400 to $600 and a third offense will result in a minimum of $600 but potentially up to $800 in fines. After a third offense, the driver will have three points added to their driving record and a license suspension of up to 90 days.

The penalties you are given will vary depending on your prior history and the details of your case. If your distracted driving led to an accident or injury you could face extensive consequences and a higher increase in insurance rates.

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