Be Careful Behind the Wheel
By Ric Edelman
It can save you a bundle.
Safe driving habits not only help keep you out of the hospital and the morgue — they can also save you plenty on car insurance.
A survey of more than 32,000 automobile insurance policies sold through insurance.com found that premiums rise an average 18% after one moving violation and 53% after three, compared to rates for drivers with no violations.
Here’s the breakdown:
Speeding, drinking, texting and other dangerous driving behaviors will hit you in the wallet — not to mention raising the risk of property damage and injury to yourself and others.
And it gets worse as you age. A separate analysis of nearly 400,000 auto insurance quotes shows that drivers who are 65 and older with two moving violations pay an average 57% more than those of the same age with clean records.
Drivers 55 to 64 years of age with two violations pay an average 47% more in premiums. The violations most likely to push your premiums much higher are:
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Careless or reckless driving
- Running red lights
- Failure to yield or heed a stop sign
- Fleeing from police
- Driving the wrong way on a divided highway
- Improper passing
- Unsafe U-turns
- Failure to use a child seat restraint
Have your insurance rates increased because of moving violations? Some states clear your record after you complete a driving safety course, which helps you qualify for lower premiums again. You can also raise the deductible on your policy to reduce the cost — but it’s much better to drive more safely.