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The biggest driving mistakes of 2019
Texting while driving could cost you an extra $1,400 per year on your insurance.
People speed far more often than any other driving mistakes, with the need for speed striking Millennials the most. But ignoring incoming texts can help you avoid the biggest cause for a car insurance premium hike.
What are the most common driving infractions?
Speeding tops the list as the most common driving offense, according to a 2019 Finder survey about recent tickets and claims drivers have experienced. About 14% of people surveyed confessed to a speeding ticket in the last 12 months.
If you break that down by age group, Millennials got flagged the most for speeding, at nearly 21% of those surveyed. Compare that to about 15% of Gen Xers who were caught zooming along, and 9% for Baby Boomers.
Most common driving infractions
|Common driving infractions||%|
|Running a red light||4.06%|
|Texting and driving||3.53%|
|Not at-fault collision||3.43%|
|Driving under the influence||2.95%|
Your insurer considers texting worse than drinking and driving
Our Finder survey reveals texting while driving brings the highest car insurance hikes, with an average $1,400 increase above previous rates. Insurers may be cracking down on this offense because it can lead to serious accidents.
That number stands hundreds of dollars higher than other infractions, like DUIs and at-fault collisions. DUIs can hike up rates by $1,200, and at-fault collisions go up $1,100.
Car insurance increase by driving infraction
|Claim||Premium increase by year|
|Texting and driving||$1,410.60|
|Running a red light||$291.05|
|Not at-fault collision||$142.00|
How much does a speeding ticket increase your insurance?
After a speeding ticket, insurance could cost an extra $22 monthly or $260 annually, according to Finder survey respondents.
Why doesn’t speeding affect your insurance rate that much? Speeding is considered a less risky offense than, say, a DUI. Every insurer has its own criteria for what constitutes a serious traffic offense and its effect on your premium. A record of safe driving may also bring less of a rate hike after your first speeding offense.
Who gets more tickets, men or women?
Men receive more speeding tickets than women overall. They also get pulled over for DUIs or texting while driving over three times as often as women do.
Nearly 17% of men received speeding tickets in the last 12 months compared to 12% of women, our Finder survey shows. About 5% of men but only about 1% of women confessed to drunk driving or texting while driving in the last year.
Driving offenses by gender
|Driving offense||Percentage of men||Percentage of women|
|Texting and driving||5.47%||1.63%|
|Driving under the influence||4.59%||1.34%|
|Running a red light||5.18%||3.06%|
|Not at-fault collision||3.42%||3.54%|
|No ticket or claim in the last 12 months||71.46%||77.99%|
Which generation gets more tickets?
Millennials harbor the most offenses of all — from running red lights to DUIs. However, speeding runs rampant as the highest offense in all age groups.
At the same time, Gen Xers face the highest insurance premium increases for driving infractions. For example, a Gen X driver who lands a DUI may see rates jump nearly $2,200. DUIs for Millennials only hike up insurance by $520, and $700 for Baby Boomers, according to survey respondents.
Most common driving offenses by age group
|Driving offense||Millennials||Gen X||Baby Boomers|
|Texting and driving||5.67%||4.71%||0.55%|
|Driving under the influence||4.21%||3.32%||1.51%|
|Running a red light||6.16%||4.29%||2.19%|
|Not at-fault collision||4.70%||2.91%||3.02%|
|No ticket or claim in the last 12 months||64.18%||74.38%||84.09%|
How we found the biggest driving mistakes
To uncover which driving mistakes people make the most, we surveyed 2,068 people ages 18 and older in August 2019. The survey was distributed by Pure Profile.
We asked drivers if they’ve ever received a ticket for a list of driving infringements or filed a claim with their car insurer in the last 12 months. We also asked how much the ticket or claim increased their car insurance premium.
Note that increased premiums could have included factors other than just the ticket or accident, and some drivers may have under-reported driving offenses.
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