The average motorist is relatively dismissive about traffic tickets. Despite being a formal allegation of a violation of state law, people often treat tickets like minor frustrations. People tend to think of tickets as an expensive inconvenience and dismiss the idea that they could fight them. They may not realize that paying a citation is the same thing as pleading guilty to the officer’s allegations.
The average person who is cited during a traffic stop will pay the ticket as soon as possible. Even those who believe that the officer erred in issuing the ticket will often pay a citation because they think it is the quickest and cheapest solution. What these drivers may have overlooked is how the ticket that they paid will affect their driving record and, therefore, what they will have to pay for car insurance.
A single ticket could mean a nearly 10% increase
Paying a ticket might only cost a few hundred dollars, but that ticket could lead to hundreds of dollars in additional insurance expenses over the next few years. A single speeding ticket will increase someone’s annual insurance premiums by 9% according to average rates across Hawaii. Certain other issues, like distracted driving tickets, will increase rates even more. If a driver has a citation for causing a crash, that could increase their insurance costs by an average of 65%.
The more tickets someone has on their record, the greater the impact of each subsequent ticket on what they pay for coverage. In some cases, a recent citation could be enough to make someone ineligible for their current policy and force them to switch to a different insurance company.
Those who fight back against traffic tickets can save themselves money in the form of both fines and increased insurance costs. Particularly when someone has other tickets on their record or performs a job that requires some amount of driving, fighting a ticket may be a very smart decision. Learning more about the consequences of a traffic citation can help someone make a truly informed choice after a traffic stop results in a ticket.