Steep fines, high insurance rates can cost speeders big-time

·2 min read

Jul. 29—Oklahoma is ranked as the 28th most expensive state for bad drivers, according to new data.

QuoteWizard released a new report on the real cost of dangerous driving, reporting that a DUI, vehicle crash, or speeding ticket could cost a driver as much as $2,148 a year for auto insurance alone.

According to the fine schedule for the city of Tahlequah, traffic violations can cost offenders anywhere from $20 to over $500.

The fine for a seat belt violation is $20, while it's a $160 fine for failing to stop at a stop sign. Fines increase depending on the severity of the violation for the city and Cherokee County. Speeding 1-15 mph over the limit costs $160, and then $185 for speeding 16-25 mph over. If an offender is going 26 mph over the limit or more, the fine is $235.

Speeding violations in the county are more expensive, as it could cost a driver $379 for speeding 26 mph over or more. Improper passing in the city can cost a driver $160, whereas it's $249 in the county. The fine for reckless driving in the county is $512 and $285 in the city.

"Dangerous driving tickets and at-fault accidents aren't a one-time thing. Your insurance premium will go up for at least three years and depending on where you live, that could cost you hundreds to thousands of dollars extra," said Nick VinZant, senor research analyst with QuoteWizard.

Having those three traffic violations on record could increase auto insurance rate by 26 percent to 75 percent. Insurance companies may view a driver who has several traffic violations on his record as a high-risk driver and either refuse to cover said driver or charge higher rates.

"The cheapest insurance with a bad driving record depends on several things, including the type of violation. However, we found that Erie, USAA, and State Farm generally had the cheapest rates for bad drivers across the board," QuoteWizard said.

Experts suggest bundling auto, home, or renters insurance to cut 10 percent or more off premiums. Improving credit scores can decrease insurance rates, or getting quotes from companies that specialize in covering high-risk drivers may help.

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