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  • Writer's pictureAlex Kimbler

Cell Phone Tickets on Insurance Rates

Cell phones: they have innovatively changed society and the way we function in our day-to-day lives while simultaneously distracting us from our surrounding environments. The freedoms and potential that cell phones offer cannot be understated but the realities of their potential dangers also need to be made aware of.

According to the National Safety Council and National Highway Traffic Administration:

  • Cell phone use while driving leads to 1.6 million crashes each year

  • 390,000 injuries occur each year from accidents caused by texting while driving

  • 1 out of every 4 car accidents in the United States is caused by texting and driving

  • Texting while driving is 6 times more likely to cause an accident than driving drunk

  • Answering a text takes away your attention for about five seconds. Traveling at 55 mph, that is enough time to travel the length of a football field

Most people are aware of the dangers of distracted driving yet do it anyway. Let me give you yet another reason to not use your phone while driving or set up a handless phone system: Insurance Rates. It is becoming more and more common to be pulled over cell phone usage while driving because of the increased dangers of distracted driving. Insurance companies are picking up on this and rating for these tickets in their systems.

A recent study (Feb 2020) done by Quadrant Information Services that was commissioned by shows that the Average Rate Increase for Texting While Driving or Cell Phone Usage While Driving in Washington State is a 19% premium increase. This rate increase could be doubled if paired with another moving violation like Speeding or Failure to Yield.

What if there was a ticket for Texting While Driving, Failure to Yield, plus there is an At-Fault Accident? That could result in a 60% rate increase or higher for just one incident. Insurance companies usually look back 5 years for driving history and only re-rate the premiums at the renewal period, even if the 5-year anniversary of the incident is up.

If the dangers of distracted driving is not enough to deter you or someone you know from texting or talking while driving, or switching the music on their phone or whatever distraction it may be, if that is not enough to deter someone, please share to them the risk of increased costs to their insurance rates. If the dangers do not scare them then maybe the risk in increased costs might. Paying 20% or more in insurance premiums for 5 years is quite some time.

This is my plea to help stop distracted driving habits. I know it can be hard and we all do it at times. But the risks of injury upon you, your loved ones in the vehicle, or others on the road is not worth the reward of being able to use your phone while driving. Even if it gets people to think of those habits and risks in a different way, it could help. Please do whatever it takes to not be distracted while driving.

Alex Kimbler

Insurance Agent

Kimbler Insurance Agency LLC

Bellingham, WA

(360) 312-5104

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