How Texting and Driving Could Impact Your Car Insurance Rates
With as many as 60% of motorists, particularly teens, using cell phones on the road, the number of accidents due to distracted driving continues to rise.
In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 3,000 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes, and an estimated 420,000 were wounded due to distracted driving in 2012 alone. Drivers below the age of 21 who were either texting, taking pictures or having romantic encounters, caused most of these fatal crashes and injuries.
But teenagers aren’t the only ones guilty of text driving. Well, according to a research study undertaken by AT&T, more than 49% of adult American drivers acknowledged to text while driving. In the same study, more than 90% understood the dangers of texting while driving but still did it.
In short, these stats indicate that texting while driving is one of the greatest dangers on the road today.
Even though statistics validating the risks of texting while driving and other distracted driving behaviors, not all states have passed legislation’s banning the practice. Currently, only 41 states have banned the practice, another six have addressed the issue in a limited way, and the other three still have no such laws barring drivers from texting while driving.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Arizona, Montana, and South Carolina are the only states that do not bar drivers from texting while driving. The six states that have approved laws limiting texting mostly focus on novice drivers and school bus drivers.
While these laws might vary considerably from one state to the other, it is important to keep in mind that even in states without specific laws against texting while driving; doing it might break some federal statutes.
Can Texting While Driving Raise Your Insurance Rates?
Most drivers think that if they text while driving, they will not experience high insurance quotes unless they are in an accident. Well, this is not true. Since texting while driving is a grave distraction, it is a misdemeanor worthy of ticketing in most states.
This means that law enforcement officials can issue tickets for distracted driving. In some cases, you can be pulled over even if you are not violating any other traffic rules at the time. The consequence of such citations is a lofty monthly auto insurance premium.
Worse still, texting citations remain on your driving record for a period of five years and can also have a compound effect on your driving history.
For example if you get texting citations, and you already have other traffic violations such as driving under the influence (DUI) or over speeding, your insurance company may be more likely to categorize you as a high-risk driver. This may prompt you to purchase high-risk driver insurance which attracts significantly higher minimum rates.
Conversely, it is vital to keep in mind that if your state writes separate charges for each traffic offense you commit, your insurer may view this as multiple traffic violations, even if the tickets are given at the same time.
For instance, if you are cited for texting and DUI at the same time, your insurer could view this as two separate violations and may raise your rates accordingly.
How High Can Your Insurance Rates Go If You Get Cited For Texting?
How high your rates can go depends heavily on your state’s regulations and your insurer. If your insurance rates hike, you can always shop around for a better deal and compare quotes with Insurantly.
Don’t text and drive.