Today, we’re explaining everything you need to know about how making an illegal turn impacts your car insurance, including how much your insurance may rise after getting caught making an illegal turn.
What is an Illegal Turn?
An illegal turn occurs when a driver turns in a manner considered unsafe or illegal.
Illegal turn tickets are relatively rare in most jurisdictions. However, a police officer may issue an illegal turn ticket when a driver makes a dangerous U-turn on a busy road or a similarly hazardous turn.
Some drivers receive an illegal turn violation when they turn on a “No Turn On Red” sign or make a U-Turn at a “No U-Turn” intersection, for example.
Other drivers receive an illegal turn violation for more serious incidents – like making a U-Turn on a freeway or crossing multiple lanes to make a turn. A driver could also receive numerous fines for a single incident, like an illegal lane change combined with an illegal turn violation.
Fines and Penalties for Illegal Turns
Depending on your state and the severity of your violation, you could receive a fine or penalty:
Fine: Most illegal turn violations lead to a small fine of $25 to $50, depending on your state or city. In certain regions, however, illegal turn violations are treated with particular severity. Nevada, for example, treats illegal turns like speeding violations. Drivers can face fines of up to $1,000 along with 120 hours of community service and 6 months of imprisonment.
Points: If you live in a state with a points system, then you might have penalty points added to your driving record. New York, for example, adds two points to your driving record for an illegal turn. If you receive six or more points over a short period of time – even if they’re for minor violations – then you could face further penalties. Accruing more than 11 points in an 18-month period, meanwhile, can lead to suspension of your license.
Will an Illegal Turn Impact Car Insurance Premiums?
Most illegal turns will have a minimal impact on car insurance premiums. Some illegal turns will have no impact on car insurance premiums whatsoever.
If this is your first violation, then your insurance company could just ignore the violation. You might maintain your safe driving discount, and you could continue paying the same insurance premiums.
If your insurance company is particularly strict, then a single illegal turn violation could cause you to lose your good driver discount, causing insurance premiums to jump.
In most cases, however, a one-time ticket for an illegal turn will have a negligible effect on auto insurance premiums.
When Will My Insurance Increase?
Typically, you won’t see the rate increase for traffic violations until your policy is up for renewal. Unless there has been an extreme violation, it’s unlikely that your car insurance company will immediately raise insurance premiums.
How Long will a Ticket Impact My Rates?
A ticket will typically impact insurance premiums for three to five years. Rules vary between states and insurance companies. Certain violations are also treated more severely. In California, for example, insurance companies are prohibited from offering a good driver discount until at least ten years have passed after a DUI violation.
With an illegal turn violation, however, it’s unlikely that it will impact insurance premiums for more than three years – if it affects insurance premiums at all.
What Happens If I’m Hit While Making an Illegal Turn?
Sometimes, an illegal turn becomes even more serious: you made an illegal turn, and then another driver hit you.
In this case, an investigation will take place to determine who is at fault. Each driver’s insurance company will examine the incident to determine what took place and which driver was at fault.
In some cases, the fault is split evenly between both parties. They were both equally at fault.
If you were performing an illegal maneuver and were hit, however, it increases the chances that you will be found at fault for the accident – especially if the other driver was driving legally.
Ultimately, an illegal turn is a relatively minor moving violation. In most cases, it leads to a fine of $25 to $50 and a negligible increase in insurance premiums. However, if you have accrued multiple moving violations in a short period of time, or if you already have a poor driving record, then you might face more severe penalties and higher insurance premiums after getting caught making an illegal turn.