Considering distracted driving is one of the more dangerous things you can do behind the wheel, but also increasingly common, you shouldn’t be surprised to learn it’s the reason you’re paying more for your car insurance.
Insurance rates for Massachusetts drivers are expected to increase by an average of 3 to 6 percent during 2017, and experts claim distracted driving is a big reason for the spike, according to The Boston Globe.
“I would characterize distracted driving as a big factor,” Chris Goetcheus, a spokesman for the Massachusetts Division of Insurance, told The Boston Globe. “It’s resulting in more accidents out on the road.”
It’s difficult to accurately measure how heavily distracted driving influenced the rise in accident claims, though the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reportedly said traffic fatalities linked to the issue were up by 8.8 percent in 2015. It likely isn’t a coincidence the total number of U.S. roadway deaths also rose by 7.2 percent, the largest increase in roughly 50 years.
Another factor reportedly is the rising costs of repairs, which continue to climb as manufacturers fit their cars with more advanced safety technology and more-expensive materials, such as aluminum.
“Traditionally what we would hope to see with all these advanced driverless systems is we would hope to see a decline the frequency of accidents,” Joe Salerno, vice president of claims at Arbella Insurance Group, said, via The Boston Globe. “But because of the small penetration, we’re not seeing the benefits.”
Essentially, the U.S. is in a limbo period, during which we have the technology to make the roads safer for everybody, but it isn’t accessible enough to do so yet. These driver assist systems currently only decrease the likelihood of having an accident on a case-by-case basis.
Thumbnail photo via Flickr/Investment Zen