The phrases “driving while texting” and “driving while distracted” may seem interchangeable, but “distracted driving” encompasses much more than checking your cell phone at a stoplight.

If you aren't giving your full attention to the road, the cars around you, and the speed limit, you are driving distracted.

In 2011, a distracted driving violation raised a driver’s car insurance rates by less than 16%, equating to less than $100 per year in extra premiums. In 2020, a cell phone violation can increase your insurance premiums by 21.38%.

An average speeding violation increases rates by about $385 per year.

Having traffic tickets, moving violations, and other infractions on your driving record can make it difficult to find affordable car insurance. Most drivers know that speeding tickets affect your insurance rates but many don't realize how much of a premium increase to expect.

From 2019 to 2020, the percent increase on your premium for a cellphone violation stayed the same at 22%, the trend leveling out from its upward climb since 2011. But the penalty for distracted driving has increased notably in recent years as insurers learn more about the costs and more states create laws prohibiting it.

In 2020, getting caught texting or otherwise using your phone while driving will raise your insurance rate by an average of 21.65% ($315) — and in some states more than 45.96%. The total cost to your insurance — the rate impact on your policy for three years — for a texting-while-driving violation is $1,772.

Many drivers simply believe they are better than everyone else on the road at multi-tasking while driving but the human brain cannot handle two thinking tasks at the same time. Your brain toggles quickly between multiple tasks but, when driving, this can slow reaction time and cause crashes.

Be safe by silencing your phone, programming your GPS, and setting up your music while you are still parked.


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