By: Mary Thompson, Capstone Brokerage President, February 24, 2017

Automobile insurance is in place to protect those on the road. As Americans continue to take their eyes off of the road, a new danger has been rising over the years since technology became a huge part of our everyday lives. Now our wallets are going to start paying the price for something that has become somewhat of an epidemic. Cell phones, Smart Phones, Tablets and computers are now readily available on the go and the risk is HUGE!

Cell Phone Use While Driving

There is not any state that bans ALL cell phone use while-driving; however, many states have created laws to regulate the use of cell phones while driving. There are several states that ban drivers form using a hand held device. Here in Nevada, for example, it is against the law to have a cell phone in a drivers’ hand. However hands-free, blue tooth, and car use is allowed without holding the phone. Some states only ban new drivers while others have nothing in place to make cell phone use against the law unless you are a bus driver of children.

According to Wikipedia, “All State-level cell phone use laws in the United States are of the primary enforcement type—meaning an officer may cite a driver for using a hand-held cell phone without any other traffic offense having taken place—except in some cases involving newer (or “novice”), drivers.[2] In the case of secondary enforcement, a police officer may only stop or cite a driver for a cell phone use violation if the driver has committed another primary violation (such as speeding, failure to stop, etc.) at the same time.”

Texting While Behind the Wheel

This may seem like something that is common sense not to do, however millions of drivers do it everyday. The rise in accidents has caused a sharp spike in automobile premiums. The correlation between texting and driving has been found to be at the source of the rise in premium. Last year it is estimated that over 40, 000 people lost their life on the road 95 of those deaths were distraction related. Texting while driving is not only against the law in some states but is a serious risk people are willing to take everyday. In fact on average 36% of drivers admit to texting and driving according to State Farm Insurance.

Distractions from technology are going to cost every American more on their Automobile insurance premium, the culprit-cell phones. So what can we all do about it? Stop this rising trend and put down the phone. Car makers are one step ahead with new features constantly coming out. Cell phone manufacturers are also trying to make this issue better with hands-free texting options, car in motion automatic text message responders and of course the option to even set you phone up to not work while in the car. While all of this could help the situation the real responsibility falls to the driver, and the cost falls to every driver by the higher insurance premiums we will continue to pay until something changes.