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How much will a traffic ticket really cost someone?

On Behalf of | May 18, 2023 | Traffic Tickets |

Drivers in North Carolina get pulled over every single day for unsafe behavior at the wheel. Speeding is one of the most common traffic infractions that occur in North Carolina and across the United States. Motorists, feeling pressure on their schedules, will exceed the posted speed limit under the assumption that they won’t face many consequences even if they do get caught.

When someone gets pulled over for a speeding ticket or similar traffic infraction, they may very well decide to plead guilty without consideration of the impact of that choice. Although a traffic ticket may not cost very much in North Carolina in terms of the fine imposed, it could potentially have a major impact on someone’s finances overall.

Insurance providers increase rates after tickets

While what someone pays the state may only be a fraction of a single paycheck, the secondary costs of that ticket could be many times higher than the fine. Every traffic infraction is a warning that a motorist doesn’t follow traffic safety laws as well as they should. Insurance companies pay attention to people’s driving records when determining what to charge them or their coverage. Even a single ticket is enough to substantially increase how much an insurance company charges an individual for their liability policy. Researchers estimate a sharp increase in someone’s insurance policy costs after even a single traffic ticket.

The average annual costs for a policy in North Carolina are $1,392 for someone with a perfect record, but they increase to $2,089 after a speeding ticket. That’s an increase of 50% Those increased rates may persist for up to three years after the citation, and those with multiple tickets on their records may see an even more significant increase in their insurance costs.

Fighting a ticket can save someone money

Although there is upfront expense involved in defending against a traffic citation, doing so successfully is often a more cost-effective solution than paying the ticket and then absorbing the costs of substantially higher insurance premiums for multiple years.

There are many ways for someone to fight a speeding ticket and win. Seeking legal guidance and choosing to fight back against a traffic ticket can potentially protect someone’s finances and sometimes even their license.