5 innocent ways to drive up car insurance

Texting while driving
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Oprah Winfrey's recent "No Phone Zone" campaign established a goal of getting drivers to stop texting and using cell phones while driving. But in many places, it is more than a media campaign, it's the law.

At least 25 states have regulations banning drivers from texting while operating a vehicle, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association in Washington, D.C. The statutes often go beyond mobile phones and apply to any portable machine capable of accessing the Internet or sending and receiving electronic messages.

Drivers who are caught violating the law could get a citation. And once someone receives a traffic ticket, even if no accident occurs, his car insurance premiums could increase as a result, says Dick Luedke, a spokesman for State Farm Insurance in Bloomington, Ill.

Even worse, if an accident occurs and it is determined that the driver was texting, that person could face more severe charges, such as reckless driving, or eventually time in jail.




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