Could texting while driving laws affect auto insurance rates?
Texting while driving is a hot topic in many areas across the country as laws continue to surface in an attempt to outlaw the act and make roads safer for drivers and passengers alike.
Much like auto insurance rates vary widely by state, so too do laws regarding the act of texting while driving.
Thirty states currently have laws in place that ban all drivers from texting while driving. In addition, nine states currently have a partial ban in place – prohibiting novice drivers from texting while driving. A total of eleven states have no laws at all in place – not even for novice drivers – prohibiting texting while driving. See the detailed map for more details.
That means a total of 20 states currently have no ban or a partial ban in place. That seems likely to change in the near future, though. State Legislature in Maine, Arizona and Oklahoma – among others – are currently eyeing legislation aimed at texting while driving.
This type of legislation has obvious effects on drivers, but how could this legislation affect the consumer side of things, or more specifically auto insurance rates?
Typically, auto insurance rates can rise if a driver acquires one or more moving violations. Stop sign tickets and speeding tickets are both examples of moving violations. Non-moving violations, such as a ticket for expired registration on a vehicle, on the other hand, typically have no affect on auto insurance rates.
So, whether or not receiving a ticket for violating a texting-while-driving ban could potentially result in higher auto insurance rates really depends on two factors. First, is the violation written in law in that state as a moving violation or a non-moving violation? Also, what are your insurance companies specific policies regarding both moving and non-moving violations?
In the end, the best way to avoid costly driving-while-texting tickets – along with potentially higher auto insurance rates – and, most importantly, accidents that could cause injury, appears to be putting the phone down while driving and waiting until parked to send that next text message.