Driving is dangerous enough without adding distractions in, with people being reckless, road rage, inclement weather, vehicles overdue for maintenance, and more. With distracted driving though, car accidents increase, going up by over 14% since 2014. It’s generally known that if you cause an accident, your insurance rates will go up, but as the amount of distracted drivers increases on the roads, it leads people to wonder if auto insurance will cover distracted driving. Here’s what you need to know about distracted driving, the consequences of it, and how it affects your auto insurance.
What Counts As Distracted Driving?
When people say “distracted driving”, your mind probably goes right to texting and driving. While it’s true that this is one of, if not the, leading cause of distraction on the road, it’s not the sole reason people get distracted while driving. There are many kinds of distractions that take people’s eyes off of the road. Whether it is eating, drinking, applying makeup, having a lot of commotion in your car, being engrossed in a deep conversation, adjusting your radio, or looking away from the road to see something off to the side, these are all distractions that can result in accidents.
Distracted driving is categorized as anything that takes your focus away from driving safely, phone or no phone. Even driving drowsy can count, since you’re not able to fully focus on the road, distracted as you are by your tiredness.
The Consequences Of Distracted Driving
The consequences of driving distracted range from being startled and hard braking or swerving to fatal accidents. In 2019, 3,142 people were killed in auto accidents involving distracted drivers. It causes enormous potential for death and injury. It’s estimated that over 28,000 people were injured in crashes from drivers distracted by their cell phones in 2019. This is why almost every state has anti-texting and distracting driving laws.
How Distracted Driving Impacts Auto Insurance
Depending on the state you live in, there’s a high chance that getting a ticket for distracted driving or being involved in an accident will cause your insurance rates to go up. During the pandemic, distracted driving has increased, with many people taking Zoom calls or texting while driving. While every kind of distraction makes driving less safe, texting is the worst according to the NHTSA, because reading or typing out a text while you drive when you’re going 55mph is the equivalent of going the length of a football field blind.
If you’re looking down, you won’t see if someone braked hard in front of you or pulled over. With how dangerous distracted driving is, many states and insurance companies include texting and distracted driving as factors when setting your rates. You’ll need to check the laws in your state to know how distracted driving can impact your insurance rates, but it’s best to play it safe, not just for your wallet, but for the safety of you and everyone else on the road, and ensure that you’re driving focused, with no distractions.
Since distracted driving, especially texting while driving, is so common, many insurance premiums have been rising to account for that. Your auto insurance will also depend on a number of other factors, including your age, your driving history, where you live, and more. People over the age of 65 and between the ages of 18-25 are the most likely to be involved in accidents involving distracted driving. Your credit score plays a factor too – low credit scores mean paying more while higher scores are vice versa.
Ways To Avoid Distracted Driving
There are so many distractions on the road, and with how addictive phones are, this only increases that. Preventing distracted driving is an absolute essential, though, for the safety of everyone on the road. Some of the ways you can help yourself focus on the road include:
- Setting your phone to Do Not Disturb while driving
- Picking out your music before getting on the road
- Setting your GPS before you go
- Putting your phone out of reach
- Not eating or drinking while driving
- Not reaching for things while driving
- Installing an app to disable your phone while driving
- Limiting the amount of activity in your car
- Pull off the road if you’re sleepy
- Practice defensive driving
- Limit how many passengers are in your car
These are just some of the ways you can limit distractions on the road. Driving is dangerous enough as it is – don’t make it even more so by driving distracted! Be safe out there – drive focused.
Auto Insurance Policies For Your Protection
Insurance Unlimited Of Bozeman offers auto insurance policies to meet your needs. Auto insurance is essential for many reasons, which is why we offer a number of different policies to choose from. If you’d like to learn more about the importance of auto insurance, preventing distracted driving, or how to find the right policy for you, don’t hesitate to contact us at Insurance Unlimited today!