November 28, 2008

Avoid speeding to save money

Have you ever gotten a speeding ticket? Many if not most of us have gotten some sort of traffic violation at one time or another. Speeding is probably one of the most frequent offenses. The costs of speeding ticket can be pretty significant especially when you consider the impact to your insurance rates.

The cost of the ticket itself.

The cost of the ticket itself will vary a lot. Every state has different rates for tickets. Here are a couple examples, in Virgina a speeding ticket could cost up to $1050. has info on tickets for various states. I would guess your typical speeding ticket might run $100-250. But again it varies a lot state to state.

The cost of additional insurance.

Probably one of the biggest costs from a speeding ticket is due to increases to your insurance premium. Not only do insurance rates go up with a ticket, they also stay high for 3 years until the infraction is off your driving record.

Here is an example of how a $50 ticket ended up costing $450 in additional insurance costs. But thats likely small peanuts. THis MSN article discusses specifics on how your insurance can go up with 1 or 2 speeding tickets. The example they give has an insurance premium going from $574 with no infractions up to $781 with one ticket and then $1,071 with 2nd ticket and $1,247 for a 3rd ticket. And those rates are for 3 years. SO a single ticket would cost you $621 in increased insurance costs.

Whats the total cost?

One ticket might run you $150 for the ticket itself plus $621 in extra insurance. Thats a total cost of $771 for a single ticket.

Lets say you get 2 speeding tickets in a short period. The tickets themselves might cost $150 each. The insurance could add up to cost you $2,019 over three years. Thats a total cost of $2,319 for 2 speeding tickets.

Other costs and risks

Excessively fast and aggressive driving can waste a lot of gasoline. Driving the speed limit could improve your car fuel mileage by up to 33%.

If you are speeding then you are more likely to get in a traffic accident. A traffic accident can cost thousands of dollars easily and a very bad accident with large medical costs could cost 100's of thousands. And worst case someone might die. Speeding is a factor in about one-third of all fatal crashes, killing more than 1,000 Americans every month.

If you have multiple tickets then eventually your state will probably take away your driving license. Most states have some sort of 'point' system where each ticket adds points and if you get enough points on your record you'll lose the right to drive. Consider the costs and inconvenience of not being able to drive at all.

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