Texting and driving. Woman using phone behind the wheel. Whitecourt insurance

The Real Cost of A Distracted Driving Ticket in Alberta

Distracted driving can be as simple as looking at your phone at a red light or changing your destination in your GPS. And yet, this simple offence has a costly price tag attached to it.

From fines and demerit points to increased insurance costs, distracted driving really isn’t a “simple” offence. We actually consider it one of the worst tickets you could get given its long-lasting implications.

Let’s break it down.

Fines & Demerits

The fine alone is severe for distracted driving. The minute you get hit with this ticket, you’re looking at a $300 fine and 3 demerit points.

Of course, that’s assuming you just receive a distracted driving ticket. This type of ticket can be paired with others. So, if you fail to stop at a traffic light, start speeding, or miss a stop sign, you’re looking at a few tickets instead of one.

Effects of Distracted Driving on Insurance

The negative impact distracted driving has on your insurance can be long-lasting. It can lead to increases in your rate, restricted access to coverage options, and restricted payment options.

How much your insurance rate will increase depends heavily on your insurance company, of course. It can be anywhere from minor increases in insurance (less common) to major hikes (more likely). These hikes can be as high as 25% if treated as a major conviction, or 15% if it’s treated as a minor one.

All in all, it’s a hike in your insurance you want to avoid.

All It Takes Is A Phone In Your Hand

Distracted driving doesn’t always feel like distracted driving. You don’t even have to be moving for an officer to write this ticket. Hundreds of Albertans have been given this ticket for checking their phones at red lights and changing the music on their phone at a stop sign. You can even receive it for something as simple as plugging your phone in while stopping at a light.

Not only can you receive the ticket while the car isn’t in motion, but there’s not a lesser ticket given when stopped at a light. There’s one distracted driving ticket – and it costs the same.

So, How Much Does A Distracted Driving Ticket Really Cost?

It depends, of course. A 25% increase to your insurance premium for years and years to come, though, means a difference of thousands of dollars.

Forget the $300 ticket. The real cost is to your insurance.

Of Course, It Might Not Just Be A Ticket…

Distracted driving might hike your insurance costs up. It might be an annoying ticket to pay. But the potential cost of the ticket could be much worse: it could end up with you or someone else being seriously hurt or killed.

Taking your eyes off the road – whether it’s for two seconds or twenty – means that you’re not paying attention. It might feel like just a moment, but in that moment you can travel the span of a football field, or maybe even several.

A lot can happen in that amount of time. And the real cost of that moment could be life-changing.

Already Got A Distracted Driving Ticket?

We believe in educating our clients about their insurance so they can make fact-based decisions from their own knowledge. If you need advice on distracted driving convictions, other tickets you’ve received, or any questions about insurance, our brokers are here to help.