While more smartphone companies continue to roll out new, on the cutting edge technology, with unlimited data rates, the death rate from auto accidents continues to increase at an alarming rate due to drivers being distracted while using their cellphones. As a result, many auto insurance companies have taken a huge hit due to underwriting losses in the last few years and now N.C. car insurance rates are going up due to distracted driving.
Everywhere You Look
While driving/riding in your car, just look around and undoubtedly you will see other drivers doing everything from reading a book, applying makeup, shaving, fiddling with the radio, or most often, texting or talking on their cellphones. Cellphones originally were designed to just talk or do a simple text; however, now distracted drivers are multi tasking on their smartphones, uploading pictures to social media, such as Facebook or Twitter. It is no wonder that people are dying by the thousands due to distracted driving, many of which are teenagers.
The Statistics May Not Be Accurate
There is a strong link between the number of auto accidents and distracted driving from cellphone usage, but are the statistics accurate? Evidence shows that many auto accidents resulting in fatalities are highly underreported causing inaccuracies in the data. Below are just some of the typical reasons cellphone usage at the time of an accident is underreported:
- The driver is seriously injured or dies
- The driver lies about cellphone usage at the time of the accident (especially if that state deems it illegal)
- There is no “test” to establish/document if someone was using the cellphone
- The smartphone records may be difficult to obtain
Be Smart and Put Down the Smartphone
While you may be tempted to answer that quick text, update your status on social media, or answer your cellphone, be smart and DON’T do it! It may be a matter of life or death. Looking down at your phone for that split second could cost someone his or her life.
Even if you use a cellphone for work while in your car, rethink the situation. The National Safety Council is recommending that companies prohibit the use of cellphones for employees that are driving during work hours. Many companies are now implementing this “ban” to protect themselves from lawsuits that could result from auto crashes due to driver distraction. While many cell phone promoters may argue that the ban could negatively affect work productivity, studies show that it has little bearing on it. Stay safe…the text or phone call can wait!
If your next car insurance premium goes up, give us a call. Many car insurance companies such as Allstate, State Farm and Geico, to name a few, have already announced upcoming rate hikes. However, there are other options and we can help you find a NC car insurance company that offers lower rates without reducing coverage.