When you see flashing lights in your rearview mirror, take a deep breath. The next few minutes could make all the difference when your next insurance bill arrives.
State troopers and police officers have 100% discretion. They can write you a ticket, or they can give you a warning. They can write down exactly what their radar gun shows, or they can write down a number that will lower your fine and reduce the number of points on your license.
If you have been pulled over, your immediate fate is in the officer's hands -- and so are your future insurance premiums.
A speeding ticket that qualifies as reckless driving in your state is the single worst traffic violation you can inflict on your insurance bill, according to data gathered by Insurance.com, with premiums rising an average of 22%. But knocked down to 14 mph or less over the limit, that hit falls to 11%.
Of course, the best way to keep your insurance from going up at all is to keep the ticket off your record in the first place.
To increase your chances of a receiving a warning rather than a ticket: