Traffic tickets in North Carolina carry a range of prices depending on the severity of the alleged infraction. Some traffic tickets are relatively cheap on their own, which makes people think that the best way to handle a ticket is to simply pay it in full. They may not even realize that fighting the ticket is an option.
However, motorists who pay a ticket after a citation may learn the hard way that there are very expensive secondary costs associated with traffic citations. Specifically, a ticket will make someone look like a higher-risk driver to insurance companies. That will increase what someone pays for coverage.
How much impact will a single ticket have?
Car insurance is one of the most expensive parts of driving, other than the cost of affording the vehicle itself. The greater the perceived likelihood of a specific driver causing a crash in the eyes of an insurance company, the more that driver will pay for coverage.
When someone pays a ticket, they plead guilty to a traffic infraction that indicates they are at higher risk of a wreck than law-abiding drivers. According to an analysis of average insurance policy costs in North Carolina, drivers pay $1,392 each year for coverage without a ticket. When they have a ticket on their record, the average cost increases to $2,089, which is a 50% increase.
It is possible to fight back against traffic citations. The increased cost of insurance may make doing so a financially intelligent decision. Understanding the implications of a traffic citation may help someone respond appropriately to a recent ticket.