December 23, 2010

Distracted Driving And Why It Can Affect Auto Insurance Rates

Distracted driving bills are making their way into law in many states and even on the federal level. The new distracted driving laws aim to end the potentially unsafe practices of some drivers who talk on cell phones and send text messages while driving, and impose stiff penalties for these drivers if they're caught. Most drivers tend to be on board with distracted driving laws, but it's helpful to know that any traffic laws–and especially laws that introduce new penalties for unsafe driving–can have an impact on your auto insurance quote.

This is because new types of traffic regulations mean new types of traffic citations. To insurance companies, this means a more accurate way of deciding which drivers are safe and which are likely to report car insurance claims. Insurance providers are already trying to gather statistics about distracted driving in order to decide how citations for the offenses should affect an auto insurance quote, but one thing's for sure: any driver who gets a ticket for distracted driving will certainly see his rates go up. Distracted driving is thought to be extremely dangerous, and it's fairly reasonable to assume that a high percentage of drivers who are ticketed once for distracted driving will continue the practice.

On the other hand, insurance companies may offer even better rates to drivers who are able to avoid traffic citations after the new distracted driving laws go into effect. This relies on the opposite principle of insurance company actuarial tables; drivers with few or no tickets or accidents will stand a lower chance of reporting a claim in the future. As such, the addition of traffic laws actually improves the auto insurance quote for a driver with a good record. The new laws simply provide the auto insurance companies with better ways to keep track of which drivers are safe and which drivers are relatively more dangerous, and they're able to assign car insurance quotes more accurately as a result.

For drivers, distracted driving laws will make the roads safer and will make auto insurance more affordable in the long run. However, it's important to avoid distracted driving, not just for the danger that it can cause for a driver, but for the effect that distracted driving can have on auto insurance rates. While there are always ways to get a driver's car insurance premiums down (through online quote comparison, car insurance discounts, and defensive driving courses), it's best to avoid the high risk behavior that will cause insurance companies to raise your rates. Staying safe pays off big for all drivers and can greatly relieve the monthly premiums that many face.