Posted on: Sep. 01, 2017 in Driving, Auto Insurance

Regardless of where you live, what kind of car you drive, or how clean your driving record might be, your auto insurance rate is probably going up. The reason is simple: distracted driving is causing more and more accidents.

As unsafe practices like texting and driving continue, traffic fatalities are on the rise. But it’s not texting alone. Distracted driving also includes talking on the phone, watching videos, and personal grooming, among other habits. And even though many of these behaviors are specifically addressed as illegal, people are still not deterred.

Distracted driving is especially dangerous and more often fatal because drivers often do not notice they are about to crash until it’s too late. Whereas in other accidents, a driver may attempt to brake or swerve, when someone is texting and driving, they may hit another vehicle full force or with significantly less attempt to avoid the collision.

Consequently, there are often more injuries and many are also more severe. The damage done to vehicles and property is also often more significant and costly. Insurers are forced to spend more on claims, with some spending as much as $1.50 for every $1 they take in through premiums. Insurers have no choice but to then raise premiums to cover their losses.

Insurers, for their part, are increasingly offering telematic devices such as phone apps and dashboard devices that can measure how a person is driving. These devices record behaviors like hard braking, rapid acceleration, and when a person drives to determine an insurance rate that more closely matches the habits of the driver. Drivers who avoid these undesirable behaviors may also see a discount on their premium.

While it’s impossible to control the driving habits of everyone on the road, all drivers can do their part by putting the phone down and focusing on the road. If you’re riding with someone who is using their phone, insist that they stop. Set a good example for young drivers and do not expect your teens or young adult children to respond to calls and texts if they are on the road.

By making distracted driving an unacceptable practice and changing our own behaviors, all drivers can play a role in changing the outcome of this story.

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