According to a study conducted by the federal government, texting while driving takes a driver’s eyes off the road for an average of just under 5 seconds, which is like covering the entire length of a football field without looking while traveling at a speed of 55 mph. These facts make texting and driving a particularly risky behavior and increases the risk of crashes drastically. That is why it has a significant effect on car insurance costs, with tickets for texting bound to raise insurance rates.
Texting Tickets Are a Factor
Insurance companies consider text messaging, as one of the most common driver distractions, and as a very important factor when determining whether they need to increase the rates of their customers or not. If a driver gets cited for texting and driving on more than a few occasions, their rates are bound to get raised.
This is because cell phone use – and in particular texting – while driving, is among one of the leading causes of car crashes, which gives insurance companies a reason to consider drivers who do it often to be high-risk drivers. Texting and driving is very dangerous, and illegal in many states. Law enforcement officers have the right to pull over people who are texting while driving and issue them a ticket, regardless of whether the driver has been involved in a crash a result of the distraction or not.
Monthly Premiums Are Bound to Go Up
Considering the pandemic proportions that this risky driving behavior has reached, insurance companies are right to ask if a driver has been cited for texting while driving, and if so, how many times. If it is determined that a driver tends to engage in this practice often, the insurer will certainly take that fact into account and raise the driver’s monthly premiums. Any type of risky driving behavior, and especially sending text messages, raises the chances of getting into a collision, so insurance companies must raise the premiums for those with numerous tickets for texting while driving, because they are more likely to have to pay out significant claims for these types of drivers.
However, there are a couple of states that have laws prohibiting insurance companies from considering texting tickets as a factor when determining premiums. In those states, driver’s insurance premiums won’t be affected if they get a ticket for texting.
Young Drivers Most Susceptible
As far as what age group is most prone to texting and driving, it’s definitely teenagers. Statistics show that teenagers between the age of 15 and 19 are most likely to send text messages while driving. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 11 teenagers are killed in distraction-related collisions each day.
In addition to texting and talking on a cell phone, other driving distractions that can impact insurance rates include smoking, eating and drinking, all of which cause both visual and manual distraction, taking a driver’s eyes off the road and hands off the wheel, increasing the risk of getting involved in a collision.