Distracted Driving Ticket: How Does It Impact Your Car Insurance?

Did you know that you can be charged and fined with a distracted driving offense even if the distraction doesn’t affect your ability to drive? A distracted driving ticket is a serious offense and one that law enforcement is increasingly cracking down on. Not only will it lead to a fine and higher car insurance premiums; most importantly, distracted driving can cause serious injury and harm to other drivers and pedestrians on the road.

The Canadian Automobile Association reports that distracted driving has become the number one cause of fatal crashes.

What is Considered Distracted Driving?

The distracted driving law in Alberta prohibits drivers from driving a vehicle while distracted whether stopped or in motion. Distracted driving includes:

  • Using your phone in your hands
  • Using any electronic devices including music players, laptops, cameras, and gaming platforms
  • Entering information into a GPS
  • Eating and drinking
  • Reading, writing, or drawing
  • Personal grooming
  • Anything that obstructs your view of the road
  • Anything that interferes with your access to your vehicle’s controls
  • Any activity that impairs your ability to drive safely

The Penalties of Distracted Driving

The penalties associated with distracted driving differ between provinces. The penalty for distracted driving in Alberta is a $300 fine and 3 demerit points.

A distracted driving ticket can also be combined with other violations. For example, if you fail to signal when switching lanes due to distracted driving, you can receive a ticket for distracted driving and failure to signal.

How A Distracted Driving Ticket Affects Your Car Insurance

Distracted driving is becoming more prevalent and dangerous, especially with cellphone use. As a response to this, car insurance companies view this violation as a risk. If you receive a traffic violation on your driving record because of a distracted driving fine, monthly premiums can go up significantly.

The following points are examples of how a distracted driving ticket can affect car insurance in Alberta:

  • Some insurance companies may only offer mandatory coverage and not physical damage which is required by financing companies.
  • Your premiums may go up hundreds of dollars, even with one ticket.
  • You may not be eligible for a payment plan.

The Bottom Line

Distracted driving is a traffic violation that can easily be prevented by practicing attentive and safe driving. Before you pick up your phone or quickly jot down a note while driving, consider the risks involved not only to your car insurance premiums and vehicle, but for the safety of you, your passengers, and others on the road.


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