Receiving tickets is part of being a driver. Of course, some drivers manage to keep the number of tickets they get to a minimum, which is beneficial for multiple reasons.
First, there is the obvious advantage of paying less money in fines. However, more importantly, you also need to take into account that most tickets will, in the end, have a negative effect on your driving record. In turn, this will result in higher insurance rates from your insurance provider and, just like that, one single ticket can cost you a lot of money over a long period of time.
How long? The answer varies from state to state as each has its own regulations. However, the average amount of time a ticket will stay on your driving record is three years. There will be exceptions to this rule based on the severity of the ticket.
Keep in mind your driving record only takes moving violations into account. This refers to incidents that are related to how you move your car on the road, so it automatically excludes parking tickets. Parking tickets will not have an impact on your premiums unless you do not pay them and your license gets suspended.
Some moving violations will have an effect on how high your premiums are, but it is likely that their effect will be minimal. This is because they are considered to be minor offenses. They can include tickets for littering, driving with a broken light, not wearing a seatbelt, having an unsecured load, driving with an expired license etc. Insurance companies will usually show leniency when it comes to these tickets and they might ignore them altogether.
Speeding tickets are a special circumstance and should be mentioned since they are common. If it is your first speeding ticket, you are likely to get away without a big penalty. However, you need to ensure that you do not get another one while the first ticket is still on your record. If they start piling up then they will have a big impact on your premium rates.
Another special case is talking on your cell phone. In the past, since using a cell phone does not fall under the category of moving violation, tickets for cell phone use did not add points to your driving record. However, because so many accidents are caused by cell phone use every year, the laws are continually changing. Thus you need to be aware of the current laws are where you live to know whether or not a cell phone ticket will effect your car insurance rates.
Some final words of caution regarding cell phone use. As pointed out by CheapFullCoverageAutoInsurance.com, if talking on a cell phone ever resulted in you causing an accident, your rates could be affected more than if you hadn’t been talking on a cell phone. This is because your cell phone use while driving displayed negligence, which insurance companies will factor in to their assessment of whether they consider you to be a safe or risky driver.