SMS while driving leads to increased insurance premium rates : America study

By Telecom Lead Team: Insurance rates in America are increasing due to the
increase in texting while driving, according to a study by,
a provider of online auto insurance quotes.

The study found that both texting
while driving traffic citations and cell phone related accidents can cause monthly
premiums to go up.
said fatal traffic accidents caused by drivers distracted by their cell phones
have almost doubled since 2005.

The National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration reported that distracted driving accidents saw a marked increase
in 2008, when texting found its way into the mainstream. The following year,
distracted drivers were at fault in 24,000 injury accidents and caused 1,000

People who text and drive place
themselves and others in danger due to three specific factors. First, drivers
are visually distracted, as they remove their eyes from the road in order to
read incoming texts. Secondly, drivers are cognitively distracted, as they are thinking
about the content of the text message rather than their surroundings. Lastly,
drivers are limited in their ability to drive safely and to react quickly when
they remove their hands from the wheel.

Though the risks of texting and
driving are apparent, many drivers admit to continuing with this practice.

Nearly 10 percent of the driving
population in the United States texts and drives on a regular basis.

According to the CDC, drivers who
fall between the ages of 18 to 29 admit to texting while behind the wheel at
least once per month, while a full 25 percent of those in that age group state
that they habitually text and drive.

Because of the high incidence of
accidents caused by distracted drivers, as many as 35 states as well as the
District of Columbia and Guam have enforced strict regulations related to
texting and driving.

In many states, it is now illegal
for drivers to text while behind the wheel and law enforcement officials may
cite any driver that is visibly seen conducting this practice. In some states,
law enforcement agents may stop drivers who are texting even if no other
offenses are being committed.

Because texting and driving causes
serious accidents every year, being issued a ticket for this offense can cause
the driver to be viewed as an insurance risk. Thus, the monthly premium can
escalate very quickly.
has learned that the insurance industry is not only raising premiums for those
drivers who text behind the wheel, but the industry as a whole is attempting to
curb the practice altogether. The industry suggests blocking text messaging
services while driving by installing text-blocking apps on phones or installing
sensor devices in cars that block signals on cell phones.

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