The never-ending, treeless Great Plains of Nebraska make it the perfect image of Midwestern U.S.A.. Largely settled by the Homestead Act in the 1800′s, the state’s history is rich with the American Spirit. Float down the flat Platte River, take in the national parks on horseback, experience history with heritage celebrations year-round or get up close and personal with a buffalo in Lincoln. Nebraska has a lot to offer, and Cheapcarinsurance.net is making the drive through the state much safer. The following list of car insurance information will help prepare Nebraska drivers for the road ahead.
Average Car Insurance Premiums
Nebraska, while far below the national average in premiums as a percentage of income, shared a record low with the nation in 2008. According to census.gov, the state’s premiums have been below the nation’s for several decades.
Drunk Driving Fatalities
After beginning 2010 well below the national average in drunk driving fatalities, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s revealed that 2011 and 2012 saw a large increase. In 2012, the national average was 31 percent, which was surpassed by Nebraska’s at 35 percent.
Teen Drinking and Driving
The Center for Disease Control reports that Nebraska’s teens drink and drive almost 1 percent more than the national average. The state’s percentage came in at 11 percent, while the national average reported 10.1 percent.
Vehicular Theft in Nebraska
At 235, Nebraska’s vehicle thefts are far below the national average. The FBI reported a rise in 2012; however, the state is still well under the nation’s 229.
Nebraskans enjoy mountains as well as plains, with changes in elevation that can be staggering. The state’s car insurance information changes as well, and the following few points will help organize the state’s information and keep Nebraskans in the fast lane.
Minimum Requirements for Car Insurance in Nebraska
- The Nebraska Department Insurance makes it mandatory that every driver in the state be protected by Liability Insurance.
- Liability Coverage minimums:
- $25,000 per individual to cover bodily injury or death.
- $50,000 per accident involving bodily injuries or deaths.
- $25,000 for property damage.
The state’s Auto Liability Insurance brochure provides drivers with a succinct outline of Nebraska’s insurance requirements.
New Driver Licensing Requirements:
- Residents new to Nebraska have 30 days to obtain a state driver license. Nebraska requires new drivers under the age of 18 to participate in the Graduated Driver License (GDL) program. The GDL is made up of 2 steps before the applicant may obtain a regular diver license: The Learner’s Permit and The Provisional Operator’s Permit. A School Learner’s Permit and a School Permit, not necessarily part of the GDL requirements, are permits that allow students to drive to and from school and at certain times while supervised. These permits are recommended to better prepare drivers; however, they are not required.
- Learner’s Permit: This permit is valid for 1 year and may be obtained by applicants 15 years of age. While holding this permit, the following applies:
- Applicants may only drive with a licensed driver age 21 or older.
- Applicants must pass the vision and written tests.
- Provisional Operator’s Permit: This permit is available to applicants age 16 or older who have held a Learner’s Permit for at least 6 months. The applicant must complete a state-approved driver safety course or 50 hours of driving with a licensed driver age 21 or older. 10 of these hours must be at night. While holding this license, the following restrictions apply:
- The applicant must pass the driving test.
- During the first 6 months, unless supervised, the applicant may carry no more than one unrelated passenger who is under the age of 19.
- The applicant and all occupants must wear seat belts.
- The permit expires on the applicant’s 18th birthday.
- Vision Exam. Each applicant must pass the vision exam for any license or permit in Nebraska. The requirement is a visual acuity of at least 20/40 or 20/40 in one eye and at least 20/60 in the other. A peripheral vision of 140 degrees is required, and restrictions are available for applicants with corrective lenses and/or less than the standard acuity and peripheral.
- Written Test. The written test evaluates the applicant’s understanding of traffic rules, regulations, signs and markings. The Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles has provided an online practice exam for all applicants to study.
- Road Skills Test. According to the Nebraska Driver’s Manual, the vehicle used in the road test must:
- be mechanically sound
- have working seat belts
- have a working speedometer
- have a clean interior
- The driving portion of the test includes the administrator’s evaluation of the applicant’s ability to:
- Start and stop
- Turn right and left
- Use and maintain lanes
- Understand and obey traffic signs and signals
- Control speed
- Use right-of-way
- Identify and respond to hazards
- Park and back the vehicle
- Perform emergency road-side stop
- A failed test must be taken no sooner than the next day.
- Fees. New Nebraska drivers are required to pay the following license fees:
- Learner’s Permit, $10.50
- Provisional Operator’s Permit, $17.50
- Regular Driver’s License
- Valid for 1 year but less than 2, $7.50
- Valid for 2 years but less than 3, $12.50
- Valid for 3 years but less than 4, $21.50
- Valid for 5 years, $26.50
- BAC limit: .08 The state of Nebraska inflicts the following penalties for DUI convictions:
- First Offense:
- Fine: $500
- Jail: 7 to 60 days
- License revocation: 6 months
- Ignition Interlock Device (IID): required
- Second Offense:
- Fine: $500
- Jail: 30 to 90 days.
- License revocation: 1 year
- IID: beginning after 45 days
- Third Offense:
- Fine: $1,000
- Jail: 90 days to 1 year
- License suspension: 15 years
- IID: possibly required after 45 days
- Fourth and subsequent DUI’s are charged as felonies and the penalties are much more severe.
- DUI conviction penalties increase when the offense includes aggravated factors and/or higher BAC levels.
Texting & Driving Laws
Nebraska has banned texting for all drivers and hands-free and handheld cell phone devices for novice drivers, according to Distraction.gov.
Nebraska’s laws are obviously designed with a lot of thought and care; except for these few. It is illegal to belch or sneeze during a church service. Bar owners may only sell beer if they are brewing soup as well. And, in the Midwestern state of Nebraska, it is against the law to go whale fishing!