If you commit a driving violation, your car insurance rates may go up. Find out how to save.
Why you can trust The Zebra
If you have caused a car crash, filed a claim, or received a citation for a serious violation, you could be a candidate for high-risk auto insurance. Car insurance for high-risk drivers is commonly expensive, but the degree of price increase you receive varies depending on your auto insurance company, your driving record, and the state in which you drive.
If you are deemed accountable for causing an auto accident, you should expect your car insurance rates to increase. In Illinois, the average insurance premium after an at-fault crash is $1,675, versus the national average of $2,012. A major incident like an at-fault crash can stay on your insurance record for up to three years!
|Location||With At-Fault Accident — Annual Rate||No At-Fault Accident — Annual Rate||Annual Rate Increase|
The best insurance company after an at-fault accident in Illinois is GEICO. GEICO’s premiums usually increase after an incident by $676, resulting in a premium 40 percent less expensive than the average among all insurance companies after a crash. If you've been deemed at fault in an accident in Illinois, avoid American Family and Progressive, which penalize at-fault drivers more severely.
|Insurance Company||Annual Premium After an At-Fault Crash|
One of the ways in which drivers earn the "bad driver" tag is speeding. In Illinois, car insurance premiums rise by $390 per year post-speeding ticket, to an average yearly rate of $1,510.
|Location||With a Speeding Ticket — Annual Rate||No Speeding Ticket — Annual Rate||Annual Rate Increase|
The foolproof way to find cheap insurance after getting a ticket for speeding is to shop thoroughly and weigh the available options. The cheapest auto insurance with a speeding ticket in Illinois is available through Country. Country’s average premium after a violation is $627 less than the state average. If you're caught speeding in Illinois, Allstate is worth avoiding.
|Insurance Company||Annual Premium With a Speeding Violation|
If you are issued a distracted driving citation, expect to pay a premium for your auto insurance. In Illinois, car insurance rates typically go up by $247 each year. That's a 22% increase from the average annual premium in Illinois, and 43% more than the national average cost of car insurance with a ticket for distracted driving.
|Location||With Distracted Driving — Annual Rate||No Distracted Driving — Annual Rate||Annual Rate Increase|
The best way to find cheap auto insurance in the wake of a distracted driving infraction is to compare carriers. The most affordable insurer after a ticket for distracted driving in Illinois is GEICO, with an average rate of just $721 per year, 47% less than the average distracted driving insurance rate among top insurers.
|Insurer||Annual Rate With Distracted Driving|
Traffic laws in Illinois penalize drivers who endanger the lives of other motorists and pedestrians or threaten to damage property belonging to others. Illinois prohibits drivers from speeding, driving recklessly or while distracted, and racing. Drivers must also maintain proper and active insurance coverage and must adhere to the law after being involved in a car accident.
Drivers are speeding in Illinois when speeds exceed a speed that is reasonable or proper in relation to traffic conditions or the roadway, or at a speed that endangers people or property.
Drivers must reduce speeds when:
Illinois speed limits:
Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, and Will counties have or may have defined lower maximum speed limits. Drivers are cautioned to pay attention to posted speed limits when driving in Illinois.
Drivers in Illinois must not drive at so low a speed as to impede the normal flow of traffic.
Driving at speeds in excess of one to 20 miles per hour in Illinois results in a $120 fine.
Speeding in excess of 21 to 25 miles per hour in Illinois results in a $140 fine.
Speeding in Illinois in excess of 26 to 34 miles per hour over the speed limit is a class B misdemeanor and results in:
Speeding by more than 35 miles per hour or more over the speed limit in Illinois is a class A misdemeanor and leads to:
In addition, speeders in Illinois will accumulate points against their driver’s license for each speeding violation, eventually culminating in the loss of driving privileges. Offenders are given:
Speeding in a school zone is considered a petty offense with a maximum fine of $1,000. First-time offenders are also subject to a minimum fine of $150. Second or subsequent offenses result in a minimum fine of $300.
Reckless driving in Illinois occurs when a driver operates a vehicle with a “willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.” Driving a vehicle and using an incline in a roadway to cause the vehicle to become airborne also constitutes reckless driving in Illinois.
Reckless driving in Illinois is a class A misdemeanor and results in:
Reckless driving that causes bodily harm to a child or school crossing guard who is performing official duties is a class 4 felony and leads to:
Aggravated reckless driving in Illinois is an act of reckless driving that leads to great bodily harm, permanently disability, or disfigurement to another is a class 4 felony and results in:
Reckless driving that causes great bodily harm, permanent disability, or disfigurement to a child or an on-duty crossing guard is considered aggravated reckless driving and a class 3 felony that results in:
Illinois prohibits the use of handheld wireless devices, such as cell phones, while driving. Drivers are also prohibited from using headsets while driving but are allowed to use single-sided headsets or earpieces. Drivers who are age 19 or older are allowed to use hands-free devices and Bluetooth.
In all cases, Illinois considers the activation of even hands-free technology to constitute distracted driving. Drivers are recommended to pull over before using any wireless device functions. Furthermore, drivers cannot physically hold a device, even while using hands-free technology or the speakerphone function.
Distracted driving in Illinois may also be caused by:
Read here for more on texting and driving statistics.
Those who are under the age of 19 or those who use a cell phone while in a school zone, work zone, or within 500 feet of an emergency scene are penalized in accordance to the Illinois cell phone law.
The first or second distracted driving conviction in Illinois is considered a petty offense and results in a $1,000 fine.
A third or subsequent conviction for distracted driving in Illinois is a class C misdemeanor and results in a fine of $1,500.
Offenders who opt to pay their ticket in lieu of going to court are fined $120 instead of either of the above fines.
Distracted driving that leads to great bodily harm or permanent disability or disfigurement is classified as “aggravated use of a wireless telephone.” Such offenses are considered class-A misdemeanors, resulting in:
A conviction for aggravated use of a wireless telephone that leads to a fatality is a class 4 felony and leads to:
Use of any electronic device, including cell phones, while in other locations in Illinois can also result in a conviction for distracted driving under the Illinois electronic communication device law.
Those found in violation of the electronic communication device law are subject to fines of:
Driving while distracted by an electronic communication device and causing great bodily harm or permanent disability or disfigurement to another is considered “aggravated use of an electronic communication device” — a class A misdemeanor that results in:
Aggravated use of an electronic communication device that results in a fatality is a class 4 felony and leads to:
Distracted driving will result in points against a driver’s license based on the severity of the offense.
It is illegal to take part in or allow your vehicle to take part in racing in Illinois. Racing and street racing in Illinois is defined as the:
A first-time conviction for racing in Illinois is a class A misdemeanor and results in:
A second or subsequent conviction for racing in Illinois is a class 4 felony and leads to:
Drivers are guilty of aggravated street racing if they are involved in an accident that causes “great bodily harm or permanent disability or disfigurement to another.” Aggravated street racing is a class 4 felony and results in:
Drivers who allow others to use their vehicles for the purpose of street racing are guilty of a class B misdemeanor, leading to:
A second or subsequent conviction for allowing someone else to use your vehicle for the purpose of a street race is a class A misdemeanor and results in:
Drivers are also subject to points against their license for racing in Illinois.
Illinois is a fault-based state when assigning fault after an accident. To determine fault, Illinois uses a “comparative fault” rule, which means both parties may share some degree of fault for an accident. Any party whose share of fault is less than 50 percent will be entitled to compensation equal to the percent for which they are not at fault for the accident.
For example, if a driver is found to be at 25 percent fault for an accident and entitled to an award of $100,000, the driver would only be awarded actual compensation of $75,000.
Illinois has a mandatory insurance law which requires all drivers to have minimum liability insurance of:
All car insurance policies in Illinois include uninsured motorist coverage equal to the policy’s injury liability coverage amount.
In addition to maintaining minimum car insurance coverage amounts, drivers involved in an accident in Illinois must file an accident report within 10 days of an accident that:
Drivers in Illinois should remain on the scene of an accident in which they're involved, whether or not injury or fatality occurs.
The first and second offense for driving while uninsured in Illinois results in:
A third or subsequent offense for driving while uninsured in Illinois leads to:
Being found at-fault for an accident while driving uninsured in Illinois subjects offenders to additional fines and suspension periods, as well as liability for providing compensation to the affected parties.
Failure to remain on the scene of an accident in which $1,000 or more of property damage has been caused is a class A misdemeanor and results in:
Leaving the scene of an accident in which property damage has occurred is a class A misdemeanor, resulting in:
Failure to remain on the scene of an accident involving injury or death is a class 4 felony and leads to:
Failing to report an accident that led to injury is a class 2 felony and results in:
Failing to report an accident in which a victim dies is a class 1 felony, leading to:
Sources and references:
The Zebra is not an insurance company. We publish data-backed, expert-reviewed resources to help consumers make more informed insurance decisions.