Auto insurance rates increase due to distracted driving

The average cost of an auto insurance premium is $841

HADLEY, Mass. (WWLP) – Drivers are taking their eyes off the road more than ever before, and it’s now affecting your cost for coverage. We all know the more accidents you have, the more you pay for car insurance. But a state-by-state analysis found that auto insurance rates have been going up for the last 5 years.

According to the Insurance Quotes website, drivers now pay an average of 44% more for car insurance after a single claim of 2-thousand dollars or more – that’s an average increase of $393 per year. If you have a second accident, that number would double. The average cost of an auto insurance premium is $841.

Vice president of insurance at AAA of the Pioneer Valley, Stephen Brochu, explained that rates are going up because of 4 reasons:

  1. More people are out on the roads
  2. Gas prices are down
  3. More people are getting in accidents
  4. Repairs cost more

Brochu said texting while driving is the biggest cause of accidents and rate increases. Mike, a driver in Amehrst, agrees it’s a problem; “People should be focusing on themselves and not on their phones.”

Insurance companies now have to charge more because of the increase in claims. A generation of texting drivers is hoping Bluetooth technology has a chance of curbing this problem. Vania Guzman of Amherst has one herself; “It’s hands-free, so it’s helping me and could avoid more accidents.”

But Bluetooth doesn’t address the texting issue. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration determined distracted-driving deaths increased 9 percent in 2015.