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Distracted driving affects other drivers and your bank account

Distracted driving behaviors can be either visual, auditory, manual (movement), cognitive (thinking), or a mixture of any four combined. Most drivers know that texting or talking on the phone while behind the wheel is considered distracted driving, but eating, applying makeup and other minor activities can cause distractions too. All these actions divert our attention, but how can they affect your insurance rates?

While distracted driving still accounts for 1,000 traffic-related injuries and nine deaths per day in the United States - or 8.5% of all fatal traffic accidents - data from the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) provides a silver lining. Traffic fatalities decreased 1-3% in the following categories in 2019:

  • Drivers: Decreased by 3%
  • Passengers: Decreased by 4%
  • Motorcyclists: Decreased by 1%
  • Pedestrians: Decreased by 2%
  • Pedalcyclists: Decreased by 3%

What about insurance rates?

As with other traffic violations, distracted driving can influence your insurance rates. On average, a distracted driving traffic violation will increase your annual car insurance premium by $290.

A texting and driving violation could raise your rates by 23% to 63%, depending on your state. In California, that increase falls right in the middle around 45%, or about a increase.

While answering an email or a text message as soon as possible, safe driving is more important. Staying focused on the road and your surroundings can help keep you and other drivers safe on the road.

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