One of the main reasons that car insurance rates are going up is the increase in distracted driving, which has led to a significant jump in vehicular deaths and accidents in the last five years.
Despite most states in the country now having laws barring the use of your phone for talking or other tasks such as messaging or taking pictures, accidents from distracted driving continue mounting.
In fact, here are some somber statistics about distracted driving:
- Nine people are killed per day due to distracted driving accidents in the United States - or about 3,500 people per year.
- 9% of fatal crashes in 2017 were "distraction-affected" crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
- 47 states and the District of Columbia have laws prohibiting texting while driving.
- 16 states and the District of Columbia have laws prohibiting phone use while driving.
- Fines for distracted driving range among all states from $50 to $500.
- The annual economic impact of distracted driving accidents and deaths is $40 billion
So, what will happen if you were to get a ticket for distracted driving?
First, you will likely be hit with a surcharge on your premium. The amount will depend on your insurance company, with the average increase across all states and insurance companies being 19.7%, or roughly $290. However, your specific surcharge could well be more than that amount.
Also, if you are ticketed, the surcharge will likely stay on your policy for three years after the infraction, which means you'll be paying for your mistake for many years. And, if you are ticketed a second time for the same offense, the surcharge will likely be higher.
You may wonder why insurers have only just begun to raise car insurance rates for distracted driving violations, despite the proven danger. It's because state insurance regulations require that insurance companies are using fair methods to set rates and that any changes they make must be justified and approved
In the past three years, insurance companies have determined they have sufficient data about the riskiness of drivers who receive distracted driving violations on their driving records to raise rates accordingly. Therefore, you will start to see most major insurance carriers in CA begin to charge for distracted driving tickets.
So before you consider texting while driving, remember this: “Don’t text and drive, arrive alive!”