If you’re issued a ticket for distracted driving, your auto insurance bill is going to get more expensive. Car insurance rates can skyrocket after a citation for distracted driving.
Distracted driving is the act of driving while engaging in other activities which distract the driver’s attention away from the road. Anytime you divert your attention from driving, you’re distracted. This includes using your phone, texting, talking, surfing the internet, posting to social media, setting your navigation or entertainment system, applying makeup, distracted by pets or kids, eating or drinking. It doesn’t matter what you hold your phone for behind the wheel – texting, talking, checking maps – it’s all distracted driving. It’s not worth it! It can end badly.
According to data from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), the National Safety Council (NSC), and various insurance institutes, Florida is the second-worst state in the United States for distracted driving accidents. More than 90% of drivers admitted to using their phones while driving.
It doesn’t matter what you hold your phone for behind the wheel – texting, talking, social media, checking maps – it’s all distracted driving. Using a phone while driving has become the number one driving distraction for drivers of all ages. Avoid temptation and stay off the phone while driving! Put It Down & Focus on Driving!
Quick Facts About Distracted Driving Dangers.
According to data from FLHSMV, the total distracted driving crashes in Florida in 2020 are 48488, and 299 fatalities. Nearly one in five crashes on Texas roads were caused by a distracted driver in which 364 people died and 2,200 were seriously injured, in 2020. In the United States, distracted driving caused 3142 fatalities in 2019, a 10% increase from 2018.
According to the Texas Department of Transportation “Texting while driving is illegal everywhere in Texas, and some cities ban all cellphone use while driving. Since Sept. 1, 2017, it has been illegal to read, write or send a text while driving in Texas. Violators can face a fine of up to $200.”
Distracted driving can include many things you may never consider lethal. When you are behind the wheel, make sure you have your emotions in check. Obeying traffic laws is important for everyone’s safety on the roadways. Reckless driving and distracted driving are particularly dangerous. When a driver is not focused on the road, it limits their ability to avoid a crash.
Types of Driving Distractions.
Distractions while driving can be separated into three main types: visual, manual, and cognitive.
- Visual Driving Distractions – taking your eyes off the road as looking at an object.
- Manual Driving Distractions – taking your hands off the wheel.
- Cognitive Driving Distractions – taking your mind off what you are doing.
Other common distractions include: tending to kids or passengers in the back seat, interacting with passengers or unsecured pets, eating, drinking, smoking, putting on makeup, watching an event outside of the vehicle, adjusting the radio, entertainment system or climate controls, checking your GPS, daydreaming, very emotional, tired, sleepy or driving a long distance.
Distracted driving is doing any non-driving activity that has the potential to distract the driver from the primary task of driving. It increases the risk of crashing. While all distractions can endanger the driver’s safety, using your cell phone is the most alarming because it involves all three types of distractions!
How Can You Prevent a Distracted Driving Accident?
What we can do to stop distracted driving? When you get behind the wheel, focus on driving and avoid all distractions.
- PUT YOUR PHONE DOWN, put it away, and just drive. Remember! Never use a phone while driving. If a driver must make a phone call, they should pull over to a safe place and use the phone.
- Keep your eyes on the road & hands on the wheel! Drivers should always keep their eyes on the road and avoid looking at objects.
- Give your passenger official communication duties.
- Slow down and drive under the speed limit, and buckle up your seat belt.
- Don’t multi-task. Drivers should only do one thing while on the road: Drive! Research shows that all human beings have a hard time mixing driving with other multi-tasking. When we drive and do something else, we do both things worse.
- Don’t smoke, eat and drink while driving.
- Never drive drowsy. Sleepy and tired drivers should pull off the road and find a safe place to rest.
- Keep a Safe Distance – reducing the risk to you and your passengers.
What is Being Done to Stop Distracted Driving?
The state of Florida passed a new texting ban into law, which started on January 1st, 2020.
What are the penalties for not complying with the law? The penalties for texting and driving, section 316.305, Florida Statutes are:
- FIRST OFFENSE is a non-moving traffic violation with a base $30 fine, not including additional court costs or other fees, and no points assessed against the driver license.
- SECOND OFFENSE within five years is a moving traffic violation, with a base $60 fine, not including court costs and other fees, and 3 points assessed against the driver license. Texting in a school or work zone will be a moving violation with three points on a driving record, plus a $60 fine.
Never check your smartphone for a text, even if your vehicle is stopped at an intersection.
Only use a smartphone in your car during an emergency, such as dialing 911 after witnessing or being in a car accident.
How Distracted Driving Ticket Affect Your Auto Insurance?
Auto insurance rates can skyrocket after a citation for distracted driving. If you’re issued a ticket for distracted driving, your car insurance bill is going to get more expensive.
A distracted driving ticket may increase your auto insurance rates. Insurance companies will take into account the number of tickets you have and the severity of the ticket when calculating your rates.
The severity of a ticket is usually determined by what type of violation it is. For example, an improper lane change or speeding could be considered a minor violation whereas texting and driving would be considered a more serious violation. The more serious violations will typically lead to higher insurance rates.
Does Texting While Driving Affect Car Insurance Rates?
It depends on your state laws and your insurance company. Points can be added to your driving record for texting while driving violations, causing your auto insurance premium to be more expensive.
How Much Does a Texting While Driving Ticket Increase Auto Insurance Premiums?
The average percentage rate increase for auto insurance premiums after a texting ticket is 25% but could be as low as 13% and as high as 55%. Insurers determine whether or how much to raise car insurance rates. Auto insurance companies may consider you a high-risk driver because of getting a ticket for texting while driving. A ticket or violation for distracted driving will be listed on a person’s driving record. Find out how to get cheap car insurance with a bad driving record.
What Can I Do If I Get a Ticket for Texting While Driving in Florida?
You may complete FLHSMV approved course and prevent your insurer from canceling your policy or increasing your rate (unless you were involved in an at-fault accident).
Top 5 Bad Driving Habits That Cause Accidents in Florida.
- Drinking and Driving. One-third of all crash deaths in the United States involve an impaired driver. Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is extremely dangerous.
- Distracted Driving. It is one of the worst driving habits in Florida. Distracted driving comes in many forms, but all of those can have deadly consequences. Keep your eyes on the road and hands on the wheel!
- Not Using a Turn Signal
- Failure to Yield Right of Way
The Dangerous Reality of Texting and Driving
Texting and driving is a dangerous reality in our modern society. Many accidents are caused by using a mobile device while driving a vehicle. This problem has been going on for years. Recently the government has taken notice of the issue.
The government has created laws to try to stop texting and driving, but it does not seem like these laws have had much success in stopping individuals from texting while they drive. The problem with the law is that it only penalizes a small percentage of drivers who get caught texting while driving. The government needs to take more drastic measures to lower the accidents caused by distracted driving.
Campaigns and Organizations Committed to Stop Texting and Driving.
There are many campaigns and organizations committed to Stop Texting and Driving. April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and organizations are trying to eliminate distracted driving.
Distracted driving, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, speeding, careless driving, failure to yield right of way, and reckless driving are particularly dangerous. It’s not worth it! The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, and Florida Highway Patrol remind all drivers to keep their eyes on the road and focus on driving to ensure everyone can Arrive Alive!
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