We have all been there: You are driving to work when you hear that infamous notification from your cell phone. You know texting and driving is dangerous but you can’t stop wondering who texted you. You battle the overwhelming temptations of your cell phone until your ears are abruptly met with another bing! So, you do what too many people do and reach for the phone. When you look up after checking your text it is already too late. You slam on your brakes hoping to avoid hitting the car in front of you.
In 2014, 3,179 people were killed, and 431,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers. Many people believe they have the ability to text while driving without getting into an accident. However, the statistics on the dangers of using a mobile device while driving don’t lie. Five seconds is the amount of time one’s attention is taken off the road while texting and driving. In that amount of time you can drive across an entire football field at 55mph. That is the distance you are texting and driving while not looking at a busy road.
Most young people don’t acknowledge these statistics which is why there are 11 teen deaths every day, according to the Institute for Highway Safety.
Texting While Driving = Expensive Auto Insurance
Not only will texting while driving increase the probability of a collision, it also negatively impacts your auto insurance. If being involved in a car accident isn’t bad enough, texting and driving will increase your auto insurance rates. Insurance companies penalize drivers for causing accidents by hiking up their premiums. With this in mind, you are 23x more likely to cause a car accident while texting and driving or talking on the phone. That means you are 23x more likely see an increase in your auto insurance every time you use your mobile device while driving.
Receiving a ticket for using your mobile device while driving will also have a negative impact on your insurance record. One thing that agents look for when providing a quote is the driver’s behavioral pattern involving citations and violations. So, if you have a texting-while-driving violation on your record chances are your insurance rate will be higher.
Cracking Down on Drivers Who Use Phones While Driving
In an effort to reduce fatalities and injuries caused by texting and driving, there are new government proposals to raise penalty points from three points to four points for using a mobile device. A penalty point is an endorsement on one’s driving record during a motoring offense. Drivers can have their driving privileges suspended if they have 12 violation points within the last three years.
Some people feel the new penalties are overwhelmingly strict while others prefer the harsher punishment in hopes for positive results.
The next time you hear your cell phone ring while you are driving, keep in mind all of consequences before checking your phone because it might cost you your driving privileges, if not your life.