Everyone is familiar with the concept of traffic tickets and why drivers receive them. However, if you’re new to the road and have never had to deal with one of these citations, you may not realize the aftermath of receiving one. Even after you’ve paid the fee for your traffic violation, you may not be quite out of the woods yet. Depending on your personal situation and the context of the ticket, there may be several hidden costs that arise afterward. If you do receive a traffic citation, you should be aware of the potential follow-up issues and costs.
1. Increased Auto Insurance Premiums
Your auto insurance premiums are the monthly payments you have to make to keep your vehicle covered. While there are numerous variables that determine how much you have to pay for your premiums, the way you drive can have a direct effect. Depending on the nature of your traffic tickets and how many violations you’ve racked up, you may see an increase in your monthly premiums after the fact. For example, if you’ve received multiple speeding tickets over the last year or two, that tells your car insurance provider that you may be a high risk for a collision. To compensate for that risk, they may demand that you pay more for your coverage. The specifics of how a traffic violation can impact your insurance premiums can vary from state to state and from provider to provider. Some insurance companies will have a one-free-strike rule. In that case, you won’t receive any change in your premiums from your first traffic ticket, but you will if you incur any others. After you’ve paid off your traffic ticket, you’d be wise to check with your auto insurance provider to find out if your monthly premiums have gone up.
2. Increased Life Insurance Premiums
Many drivers have no idea that receiving traffic tickets can affect their life insurance policy, but in certain cases, it can do just that. It completely depends on your policy and provider, but some life insurance companies will view traffic violations in the same way that your auto insurance provider does. Usually, though, only instances of reckless driving or extreme speeding violations will be serious enough to spur action from your life insurance provider. However, if they see that you’re regularly driving recklessly, they may view you as a riskier person to insure. Unfortunately, traffic accidents are a very common cause of fatalities. So, if your insurance company thinks you’re a real risk for getting in a serious collision, they may feel the need to mitigate their financial risk. As a result, you may see your life insurance premiums go up after paying for your ticket.
3. The Cost of Attending Driving School
In the case of some traffic violations, a judge may offer you the opportunity to have it dropped from your record, provided you attend driving school classes. Essentially, if you demonstrate a commitment to becoming a safer and more responsible driver, you won’t need to have the stain of the traffic ticket on your driving record long-term. Because having traffic violations on your record can have repercussions down the road, you may find that it’s worth it to pay for and attend driving school. If you plan to work in driving-related jobs in the future, it may be worth it to have your ticket expunged from your driving history. As an added benefit, attending and completing driving school may provoke your auto insurance provider to lower your premiums. The price of taking these classes will vary, but it will likely be several hundred dollars to complete the full course.
4. The Cost of Losing a Job Opportunity
It’s possible that receiving one or more traffic violations could cause you to lose a job opportunity or, in rare cases, even lose your current job. If you work as a driver in rideshare, transport, delivery, or any other similar position, it’s possible that having a traffic ticket pop up on your record will result in your termination. This is a rare occurrence and will most likely only happen in the case of reckless driving instances. Alternatively, if you’re applying for a job in the near future, having one or more violations in your driving history may be what disqualifies you. If your potential employer is trying to narrow down their candidates, they may turn to something like driving record to serve as a tiebreaker of sorts.
As you can see, receiving a traffic violation can bring with it several downsides that many drivers don’t consider. If it wasn’t clear already, these hidden costs really show that it isn’t worth it to drive recklessly or carelessly. Not only will you be stuck with one or more of the consequences listed above, but you could also end up getting in a collision and being seriously injured. If you do find yourself in that situation and you’re in the Westmont, IL area, consider contacting Jeremy M. Wang Law & Associates, LLC. You may be entitled to compensation for your pain, emotional trauma, and medical bills, and they’ll help you receive the assistance you deserve.