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Distracted driving accidents leading to increased insurance rates

Though automotive insurance costs remained fairly steady for several years after the economic downturn in 2008, the rates have recently started to climb. While there are several reasons for the increases, one of the most cited factors is the increased occurrences of distracted driving accidents. Louisiana drivers are experiencing some of the sharpest rises in both costs and wrecks.

Insurance representatives listed a variety of causes behind the jump in their costs, including more technology that is incorporated into the newer models of vehicles and manufacturing processes that lead to more costly repairs. Furthermore, the increases in accidents caused by those who are distracted behind the wheel have led to many insurance carriers sustaining heavy losses. An estimated 20 percent of accident fatalities in the state are caused by inattentive drivers, though the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration disputes those numbers to some degree.

In Louisiana, fatal accidents reportedly make up approximately one half of 1 percent of motor vehicle accidents. However, an estimated one-fifth of accidents are related to drivers dividing their attention between operating their vehicles and using technology -- primarily their cell phones. In spite of technological advances to make driving safer, there has not been enough improvements that can protect others from a driver who is not paying attention to the road.

While there are many activities that can interfere with attentive driving, some insurance providers estimate that fully one-half of vehicle collision damages are due to the use of cell phones while driving. Regardless of rising insurance rates, many drivers will likely continue to allow their phones to take their attention from the road, thereby causing more distracted driving accidents. In the event a family member is injured -- or worse, killed -- due to the actions of a distracted driver, the victim or loved ones may seek financial reparation through civil litigation.

Source: theadvocate.com, "Know why Louisiana car insurance rates might be skyrocketing? Blame it on your phone", Ted Griggs, March 12, 2017

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