December 22, 2010

The Role Of Cell Phone Laws In Lowering Auto Insurance Rates

Some car insurance customers may wonder how their state's cell phone laws affect auto insurance quotes. It is widely agreed that driving while talking or texting on a cell phone is dangerous. At best, people on cell phones are distracted. At worst, drivers on cell phones are a danger to everyone on the road.

The data identifying whether cell phones are dangerous is contradictory, and there are some states within the U.S. which have forbidden the enactment of cell phone laws, including Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada and Oklahoma. All states enact their own unique laws regarding vehicle codes.

There are eight states, including: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Oregon and Washington, that have banned all drivers from using hand held cell phones while operating a motor vehicle. The use of hands free devices may be allowed as an alternative. Although no one state has wholly banned cell phone use while driving, some states have prohibited their use by novice drivers and school bus drivers. Thirty U.S. states forbid drivers from sending text messages while driving.

Such cell phone laws are designed to prevent accidents, which may lower insurance rates. The number of accidents that occur in specific areas is a commonly used rate factor by car insurance underwriters. Statistically, it is more expensive for the insurance company to insure vehicles in higher risk areas due to a greater probability of a car accident. Since it can be extrapolated that cell phone use results in more car accidents, there can be causality established between states that do not regulate cell phone use and auto accidents. As a result, auto insurance quotes for states without cell phone laws may be more expensive.

Of course, enforcement of state cell phone laws has a measurable effect on whether the statutes actually work. Drivers are notorious for ignoring laws that are not properly enforced. It is reasonable to assume that the vigilance of a state's law enforcement agencies with regard to cell phone laws determines whether such laws are actually obeyed.

A customer should become familiar with his or her state's particular cell phone laws when researching whether such statutes might affect auto insurance quotes. It may be difficult to obtain specific local data as many states do not require such data to be collected by law enforcement agencies. However, from a common sense and personal perspective, it stands to reason that most drivers will benefit from not speaking on hand held cell phones while driving. If the use of a cell phone is necessary, then a hands free device is suggested. Reducing the occurrence of car accidents will keep auto insurance rates low.