Gas prices staying low, but car insurance rates are going higher

Low gas prices mean more drivers, and more drivers mean more accidents

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NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Car insurance rates are racing upwards- at their fastest speed in 13 years. On average, rates in the United States are up almost 10% from last year.

Experts say it is because more people are out on the roads, leading to more accidents. Last year alone, 38,000 people died on the nation’s roads.

Gas prices here in western Massachusetts are still relatively low, with the average price for a gallon of regular unleaded at $2.25. 22News found out that this could also drive prices.

“Companies definitely did see a drop in miles driven when gas prices were up around $4.00 (per gallon), so they’re seeing the opposite now. So that leads to more congestion. That’s a factor,” explained Peter Whalen, president of Whalen Insurance in Northampton.

Experts also say that distracted driving is also raising rates higher. Almost 1/3 of all accidents are caused by distractions- from using your cell phone to changing the station on your car radio.

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