Distracted driving is dangerous, but it can also be expensive. If you have a distracted-driving ticket or crash on your driving record, insurance companies will have access to that information for the next 3-5 years.
Each day, 1.4 million licensed drivers are potentially on Nebraska roads.
With so many drivers, there’s potential for life-altering errors behind the wheel. According to data from the Nebraska Department of Transportation, in 2017, 19 people were killed and more than 1,500 injured in crashes involving distracted driving.
In Nebraska, texting while driving is a secondary offense, but aside from having to pay a fine, being ticketed for distracted driving could cause your auto insurance premiums to increase by an average of 16 percent, or about $225 per year.
And here in the Cornhusker state:
“You can get one (ticket), and your rate is going to go up,” said Connie Rivera, Affordable Auto Insurance office manager and agent. “Again, they will surcharge you. It could also impact — if you have a package with your home and auto — it can impact that home rate; it can impact your home rate with that monthly policy.”
Being involved in a car crash caused by distracted driving is also going to you whether you were at fault or not. Insurance companies evaluate customers by tiers depending on age, sex, ZIP code, driving history, and even your credit score.
"A not-at-fault accident can keep you out of that higher tier even though it wasn't your fault. But, yet, you still want to report that,” Rivera said.
Increasingly, more insurance companies are penalizing drivers for distracted driving. By the end of 2017, insurers in all states penalized distracted driving; whereas only 10 did in 2011. And if a distracted driving ticket or crash is on a driving record, insurance companies will have access to that information for the next three to five years.
"A clean record will get you the most bang for your buck,” Rivera said.