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Your Car Insurance Could Go up If You Text and Drive

Published on Mar 19, 2018 at 12:46 pm in Auto Safety.

People rarely go anywhere without their smartphones, including their cars. Many have to fight the urge to check their phones while driving because it’s the main form of communication. Whenever there’s an update on social media, text message, or phone call, your phone gets a notification. Those who believe they can multitask may want to take a quick peek at their phone, even though this is still dangerous.

Distracted driving causes serious car accidents that hurt innocent people. If you’ve been injured in a car accident that wasn’t your fault in South Carolina, you can get help from The Solomon Law Group. We’ll pair you with a skilled Columbia car accident lawyer who will go over your case and get you compensation for your injuries.

How Does Texting and Driving Affect Insurance Rates?

As insurance companies look for incentives to encourage safer driving, Allstate has developed technology to reward safe drivers and penalize distracted drivers. Arity, a unit of Allstate, has technology that tracks if someone is moving the phone, like someone picked up the phone and is using it. They can also tell if someone is using the phone while it’s on a flat surface, which apps are open, and if the phone is unlocked.

The driver’s cell phone use while driving could be used to determine car insurance rates. When distracted drivers cause car accidents, the damage is usually more severe. Arity showed that distracted drivers are more dangerous and cost insurance companies 160 percent more than drivers who don’t use their phones while driving. Safe drivers save the insurance company money.

When drivers use smartphones, they’re not focusing on the road and have less control of their vehicles. They can’t see if a car pulls in front of them or if they begin to swerve out of their lane. It becomes increasingly difficult to safely navigate their car without their eyes on the road and two hands on the wheel.

Basing insurance off this data instead of credit score will help give a more accurate insurance rate and will be a great incentive for safer driving. If this technology becomes the norm, it would benefit both insurance companies and the drivers. Insurance companies who don’t offer rewards for safe driving would risk losing customers to insurance companies that do.

But with all new technology, some people have concerns about the accuracy and what data is being tracked. An Arity director recommended putting the phone in airplane mode and to not touch their phone while driving. For people using their phone’s GPS system, it’s better to set the route before leaving. Balancing a phone to see where you’re going in one hand isn’t safe and would probably trigger Arity’s app but putting the phone in a mounted cradle would reduce that and allow the driver to use two hands to steer.

This app isn’t on the market yet. State insurance offices still must approve it. Insurance companies can’t force their drivers to use the app because the drivers have to agree to download the app.

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