Q: I got ticketed for using my smartphone while driving. Will that affect my insurance rates?
A: Yes, tickets issued for using an electronic device in your vehicle will impact your insurance costs.
I think most of us can agree that people operating a vehicle should place their full attention on driving. Despite that, many drivers still report answering incoming calls or viewing incoming texts while they're behind the wheel.
Distractions from using electronic devices have been a growing problem ever since the first iPhone's release over a decade ago, and after some initial uncertainty about how best to tackle the issue, we're finally seeing lawmakers push through new bills designed to curb the behavior. In Washington and Oregon, laws took effect in 2017 and 2018 that fine drivers who are caught using an electronic device while operating a car, including at stop signs and stoplights.
Besides the fine, such tickets are recorded on your motor vehicle report, meaning your insurance company can see them when accessing your records. Distracted-driving tickets can impact your insurance premiums, often for up to three years.
Your best choice is to put down the device. These rolling hunks of metal and plastic we're steering should have our undivided attention. It will save you money, but more importantly, you'll keep everyone safer.