Distracted driving is dangerous driving. And more dangerous drivers on the road have caused auto-insurance rates to rise. For some companies, costs of accidents are outpacing premium increases. State Farm Mutual Auto Insurance company is the largest auto insurance company in the world. They conducted a survey in 2015 and found that 36% of respondents admitted to texting and 29% admitted to using the internet while driving. They also found that close to 90% of all people surveyed owned a smartphone.
All sorts of actions can be distracting. Reaching for a dropped item, tending to a child, and eating while driving are common forms of distracted driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration almost 10% of all traffic fatalities are due to some form of distracted driving.
Many insurance companies are using this information to justify significant rate increases. For example, in 2016, the average car insurance premium rose to an astonishing $926 a year in the United States. The average car insurance bill from Allstate Insurance Company has increased more than 11% in the past two years. The number of deadly accidents also increased in 2015 and again in 2016. While vehicles are becoming safer, the number of accidents that occur is outpacing new safety measures. Although, it should be noted that many factors could be contributing to increased auto accident deaths. For example, cheaper gas prices in recent years means that more people are likely traveling on the road each day. Nonetheless, there is no doubt that cell phone use, such as texting while driving, contributes to the increase in traffic accidents.
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