202

Which driving infractions raise insurance premiums the most?

From 2002 to 2009 the number of super commuters grew in eight of the 10 largest U.S. metropolitan areas. (WTOP/Dave Dildine)

WASHINGTON — You already know that driving infractions tend to lead to higher car insurance costs, but a new study illuminates which violations will cost you the most.

Your premium could rise as much as 93 percent if you are convicted of driving under the influence, a study commissioned by InsuranceQuotes.com finds.

But even a minor speeding infraction could cost you 21 percent more, the study finds. A traffic ticket for not signaling could bump your rates 19 percent.

The study finds the least expensive violation to be a seat belt violation. It could cost you 5 percent more.

The study assessed data from ZIP codes in every state. The averages are based on the driver being a 45-year-old, married woman who drives a sedan, has a clean driving record and who gets one violation in a 12-month span.

“Insurers base their rates on experience, so the violations that cause premiums to jump the most are the ones that, over the years, insurers have found are strong indicators that the driver is likely to have an accident in the future,” said Mike Barry, a spokesman for the nonprofit Insurance Information Institute, on InsuranceQuotes.com, a site that links insurance buyers with a network of insurance agents nationwide.

Insurance companies use specific algorithms to determine the types of moving violations people are more likely to repeat.

While DUI ranked as the violation with the highest increase in premiums, driving in a carpool lane without the proper number of people in the car could result in premiums that are 18 percent higher.

“The likelihood of (a driver) being in an at-fault accident is higher after a reckless driving violation compared to someone who gets pulled over for driving in a carpool lane,” said Dan Weedin, a Seattle-based insurance and risk management consultant.

According to the study, here are the average national premium increases for seven traffic moving violations:

  1. DUI — 93 percent.
  2. Reckless driving — 82 percent.
  3. Careless driving — 27 percent.
  4. Speeding 1 to 15 mph over the limit — 21 percent.

    Speeding 16 to 30 mph over the limit — 28 percent.

    Speeding 31+ mph over the limit — 30 percent.

  5. Failure to stop — 19 percent.
  6. Failure to yield to pedestrians — 19 percent.
  7. Driving in a carpool lane — 18 percent.

Follow @WTOP on Twitter and on WTOP Facebook page.