WHY YOU CAN TRUST JERRY
Jerry partners with more than 50 insurance companies, but our content is independently researched, written, and fact-checked by our team of editors and agents. We aren’t paid for reviews or other content.
By Cheryl Knight
Updated on Jun 27, 2022
Reviewed by Carrie Adkins, VP of Content.
With the introduction of cell phones, distracted driving took a step into the national spotlight. Blamed for both minor and serious accidents, states have moved to regulate the use of handheld devices while operating a car.
In addition to cell phone use, other forms of distracted driving can result in fines and other penalties, as well as an increase in your car insurance premiums.
Jerry has detailed exactly what you can expect when you get a distracted driving ticket and how much a ticket can cause your car insurance premiums to increase.
Compare auto insurance policies
No spam or unwanted phone calls · No long forms · No fees, ever
What is distracted driving?
More than just using a handheld device while on the road, distracted driving occurs whenever you divert your attention from the road while driving to do something else. Some of the more common causes of distracted driving include:
- Putting on makeup and other personal grooming
- Texting, sending an email, or checking social media with a handheld device
- Taking a photograph with a handheld device
- Checking a GPS device or map
- Using apps on a handheld device
- Messing with the radio/CD player
- Taking your eyes off the road to reach for an object
- Engaging in conversation with a passenger
Distracted driving tickets and other penalties
Texting and driving represent the biggest culprits behind accidents caused by distracted driving. Many states have implemented new laws designed to cut down on the instances of distracted driving on state roadways.
The following chart, created using information from GHSA.org and Countrywideppls.com, details the handheld use laws in different states and how much you can expect to pay for getting caught using a handheld device while driving:
|State||Cell Phone Handheld Use Ban||Text Messaging While Driving Ban||Penalties for Cell Phone Use and Texting While Driving|
|AL||No||All drivers||First offense: $25 fine; second offense: $50 fine; subsequent offenses: $75 fine|
|AK||No||All drivers||Charged with a misdemeanor if no accident. Charged with a felony if an accident with injury.|
|AZ||No||Only for permit holders under 18||No penalty|
|AR||Drivers 18 to 20||All drivers||Up to a $100 fine.|
|CA||Yes||All drivers||First offense: $20 fine; subsequent offenses: $50 fine.|
|CO||No||All drivers||First offense: $56 fine; Subsequent offense: $106 fine.|
|CT||Yes||All drivers||First offense: $125 fine; subsequent offenses: $250 fine.|
|DC||Yes||All drivers||Fine of $100.|
|DE||Yes||All drivers||First offense: $106 fine; subsequent offenses: up to a $350 fine.|
|FL||No||All drivers||Fine of $30.|
|GA||No||All drivers||Fine of $150 plus one point on driving record.|
|HI||Yes||All drivers||First offense: $200 fine; second offense (within same year) $300 fine.|
|IA||No||All drivers||Fine of $30, or up to $1,000 for causing a serious accident while texting.|
|ID||No||All drivers||Fines start at $85 for the first offense.|
|IL||Yes||All drivers||Fines start at $75 for a first offense.|
|IN||No||All drivers||Fine ranges from $35 to $500.|
|KS||No||All drivers||Fine of $60.|
|KY||No||All drivers||First offense: $25 plus court costs; subsequent offenses: $50 plus court costs.|
|LA||Drivers with permits, regardless of age||All drivers||First offense: $175 fine; subsequent offenses: $500 fine.|
|MA||No||All drivers||First offense: $100 fine; subsequent offenses: $250 fine.|
|MD||Yes||All drivers||Fine ranges from $40 to $100.|
|ME||No||All drivers||First offense: $100 fine; fines increase for subsequent offenses.|
|MI||No||All drivers||First offense: $100 fine; subsequent offenses: $200 fine.|
|MN||No||All drivers||Fines up to $300 per offense.|
|MO||No||Drivers 21 and under||Fine of $20.50.|
|MS||No||All drivers||Fine of $500 for a first time offender.|
|NC||No||All drivers||Novice drivers: $25 fine; adult drivers: $100 fine.|
|ND||No||All drivers||Fine of $100.|
|NE||No||All drivers||First offense: $200 fine; second offense: $300 fine; subsequent offenses: $500 fine.|
|NH||Yes||All drivers||$100 fine.|
|NJ||Yes||All drivers||$100 fine.|
|NM||In-state vehicles||All drivers||First offense: $25 fine; subsequent offenses: $50 fine.|
|NV||Yes||All drivers||First offense: $50 fine; second offense (within seven years): $100 fine; subsequent offenses (within seven years): $250 fine.|
|NY||Yes||All drivers||Fine of $150 plus mandatory fees up to $85.|
|OH||No||All drivers||Up to $150 fine. Up to a $300 fine for novice drivers.|
|OK||Drivers with permits||All drivers||Suspended or revoked driver's license.|
|OR||Yes||All drivers||Fine of $142.|
|PA||No||All drivers||Fine of $50.|
|RI||No||All drivers||First offense: $85 fine; second offense: $100 fine; subsequent offenses: $125 fine.|
|SC||No||All drivers||Fine amount varies by county.|
|SD||No||All drivers||Fine of $100.|
|TN||No||All drivers||Fine of $50 plus court costs (not to exceed $10).|
|TX||No, banned in school zones||All drivers||No penalty.|
|UT||No||All drivers||Fine of $750 and/or jail time of up to three months.|
|VA||No||All drivers||First offense: $125 fine; subsequent offenses: $250 fine.|
|VT||Yes||All drivers||First offense: $100 fine; subsequent offenses (within two years): $250 fine.|
|WA||Yes||All drivers||First offense: $124 fine.|
|WI||No||All drivers||Fine of $20 to $400, and up to four points on driving record.|
|WV||Yes||All drivers||First offense: $25 fine; second offenses: $50 fine; subsequent offenses: $75 fine.|
|WY||No||All drivers||Up to a $75 fine.|
Other costs associated with distracted driving
In addition to tickets, driver's license suspensions, and jail time, distracted driving can also lead to higher car insurance premiums.
Texting, the most common form of distracted driving, causes your premiums to go up when you accrue points on your driving record, though not all states assign points for such a violation. States that don't assign points for texting-while-driving include:
When you live in a state that does put points on your record for a distracted driving ticket, expect to pay more per year on your car insurance premiums. As an example, the following table from NerdWallet illustrates just how much more you can expect to pay each year with just one accident on your record, a common occurrence when driving while distracted:
|National Ranking (smallest to biggest price increase)||State||Average Annual Rate Increase Compared to Drivers With Clean Records|
|9 (tie)||North Dakota||$277|
|51||District of Columbia||$1,041|
|Average increase by state||$446|
Try shopping with Jerry
As you can see, driving while distracted can lead to hefty fines and an increase in your car insurance premium in many states. Avoid the hassle of paying higher insurance premiums when this happens by switching to another car insurance company.
If you’re looking for a new insurance company, Jerry can provide you with competitive quotes in under a minute. Swapping is just as effortless. Jerry takes care of all the paperwork and phone calls and even can assist you in cancelling your old policy!
It’s this simple: download the Jerry app or go to getjerry.com. In less than 45 seconds, Jerry collects all of your information from your existing insurer. Choose from competitive quotes from up to 50 top insurance companies and Jerry takes care of the rest—securing your new policy and helping you cancel your old one. No long forms. No calling around. No hard work. Just savings. The average Jerry user saves $879 a year on car insurance.
Haven’t shopped for insurance in the last six months? There might be hundreds $$$ in savings waiting for you.
Judith switched to Progressive
Saved $725 annually
Alexander switched to Travelers
Saved $834 annually
Annie switched to Nationwide
Saved $668 annually