Distracted Driving Causing Auto Insurance Rates to Soar

As April’s National Distracted Driving Month continues, it seems that rising crash rates are causing another kind of headache for drivers: auto insurance rates are going up.

A news report published recently in the Wall Street Journal highlights how distracted driving has caused auto insurance rates to rise significantly in the past decade. After an internal investigation, some of the nation’s largest auto insurers are suggesting that the rise in smartphone use behind the wheel could be a major part of the problem:

“At Allstate Corp., President Matthew Winter told shareholders this month that the correlation between smartphone ownership and accident frequency is striking. Allstate drivers average auto bill is up by more than 11% since 2014.”

auto insurance rates

Distracted driving counted for 9.9% of all traffic fatalities in 2015, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which included smartphone use such as texting, surfing the web, taking photo or videos while driving.

While it seems tempting to check in to social media while you are stuck in traffic, distracted drivers may not have enough time to react to avoid a crash, per NHTSA’s Distracted Driving campaign:

“Sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for 5 seconds. At 55 mph, that’s like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed.”

Distracted driving can be deadly driving. Optotraffic will continue to work with law enforcement to increase public safety by offering innovative traffic safety enforcement programs such as red light, speed, parking and more.

If you are interested in starting an enforcement program in your community or would like more information on any of our traffic enforcement systems, please contact us today.