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Smartphones said to be the cause of increasing car insurance premiums (and deaths)

Driver distraction caused by smartphones is said to be creating more accidents and, consequently, rising insurance premiums.

Published onFebruary 21, 2017

America’s drivers are said to be becoming more dangerous and insurance premiums are skyrocketing. The reason? Smartphones, apparently.

One of the US’s largest auto insurers, State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., conducted a survey in 2015 in which 36% of people admitted to texting while driving and 29% said they accessed the internet. Of the 18 to 29-year-old drivers, 64% said they text while driving, and 54% said they use the internet behind the wheel.

At the same time, The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration claims that the number of “deadly” road accidents increased by 7.2% in 2015 and a report from nonprofit organisation the National Safety Council suggests it rose by 6% in 2016. Figures for the number of smart-device-based accidents are also said to be conservative, as often those involved don’t admit to using their devices, or it can’t be proven.

Estimates from the Insurance Information Institute indicates that auto insurance costs have increased every year since 2009 and The Wall Street Journal suggests that this is will continue to rise despite increasing prominence of cars with anti-collision technology.

Naturally, there are lots of factors at play here: there are ever more cars on the road and this also would increase chances of collisions, for example. Irrespective of the degrees, however, active smartphone users, deadly road accidents and auto insurance premiums all appear to be on the rise.

What’s the fix? Give us your thoughts in the comments.