One of the most frequently asked questions by customers to insurance agents is, “why are auto insurance rates on the rise?”
There are many factors that impact auto insurance premiums. Modern vehicles offer an array of complex technologies that make repairs more complicated and costly. In addition, a more robust economy means that people are driving more miles annually, not to mention, the issue of distracted driving. According to a study recently published by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, an astonishing 25% to 50% of all accidents can now be attributed to distracted driving.
Why is distracted driving on the rise? Drivers increasing rely on mobile devices and “infotainment” systems, such as voice-based technologies and touch screen dashboards in their daily routine. In fact, one-in-three U.S. adults utilize infotainment systems while driving! The AAA Foundation for Safety study found that in-vehicle technologies visually and mentally distracted drivers for more than 40-seconds when completing tasks such as programming a GPS navigation. Research has found that removing your eyes from the road for just two seconds doubles the risk for a crash.
What can you do to avoid distracted driving? First and foremost, if you rely on a GPS for directions, program the GPS before you start your trip. Also, try to avoid talking on your mobile phone. If you get distracted by texts and news alerts, silence your phone or take advantage of the phone lock feature currently available with some mobile device systems. Finally, don’t multi-task while you’re driving. Try to avoid eating in your car and never attend to personal grooming while at the wheel. Your eyes should be on the road and if you need to use your rearview mirror, it should be to look at other drivers, not yourself.
A driver’s biggest responsibility is to be an alert, vehicle operator. Good driving habits contribute to personal safety and also help to mitigate additional costs.