In our last article, we posted some serious and valid safety concerns parents should have for their new teen drivers. In today's blog, we'll be discussing the financial aspects. Beyond the risks to bodily harm and physical safety, there are major penalties associated with disobeying traffic laws and causing accidents.
What Are Moving Violations?
Moving violations are breaches of state traffic laws, rules, or statutes that occur specifically while a vehicle is in motion. Speeding, texting and driving, and driving under the influence (DUI) are all considered moving violations.
A non-moving violation, by contrast, is usually related to parking or faulty equipment. Examples include parking in front of a fire hydrant, parking in a no-parking zone, parking in front of an expired meter, and in many states, excessive muffler noise.
What is the Difference Between a Minor Moving Violation and a Major Moving Violation?
While there is no set definition of what counts as a "minor" moving violation since the rules are different in each state, as a general rule, moving violations that don't carry the possibility of jail time are considered minor. Here are some common examples of minor moving violations:
- Not wearing your seatbelt
- Making improper turns or failing to use turn signals
- Disobeying traffic lights and signs
- Illegal U-turns
Conversely, major violations are serious traffic crimes that can be prosecuted through criminal courts. Each state has a unique definition of major moving violations. DUI, DWI, hit-and-run, and vehicular manslaughter rank among the most serious major moving violations.
How do Moving Violations Affect Your Insurance?
While responsible drivers with a longer clean-driving history may be unaffected by a minor traffic violation, inexperienced teen drivers may see an increase in their insurance premiums after just a single violation. Additionally, major moving violations in the past three years and multiple violations in a short period can really bump up your auto insurance premiums.
What are the Additional Costs for Moving Violations?
Besides just raising your insurance rates, you're also going to be paying additional fees. Some are obvious, such as traffic tickets. Others you may not have considered. Even though most traffic tickets are handled fairly quickly and easily, a traffic infraction can have a negative effect on a person's driving privileges. Sometimes punitive "points" are put on the license of the driver. As a driver accumulates points, he or she may be required to attend defensive driving lessons, re-take his or her driving test, pay additional taxes, or even surrender the license altogether. And of course, the classes themselves cost money, too. All of these costs are going to add up and really hit you in the wallet.
As a parent, you obviously want to keep your children safe. But it's also important to remember the financial responsibilities that will likely fall onto your shoulders should they get into legal trouble. At Freeman & Sherburne, we want to give both you and your teen drivers as much protection as possible, and help prepare you for the road ahead - literally.
Since 1875, Freeman & Sherburne has been serving the insurance needs of clients by coupling a small-town approach with the most current tools to serve you best. We are licensed in Virginia, Maryland and Washington D.C.
As independent professionals, we provide all our clients with the best insurance solutions from a wide range of companies and programs. We make insurance simple, straightforward and economical. Reach out today and experience the way our agency works.