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The Cost of Distracted Driving

Distracted driving comes in many forms, one popular one is texting and driving

There are a lot of drivers on the roads who are prone to getting distracted when behind the wheel. In fact, there is an increasing amount of accidents that happen as a direct result of distracted driving. Do you know the different forms of distracted driving? Are you familiar with the cost of it? Take a look below to get the details you need to know.

The types of distracted driving

Most of us will immediately think of texting or scrolling social media on our phones as being distracted driving. This is correct, but it’s only one of the types of distracted driving. Some of the other common types of distracted driving include:

  • Looking at your GPS
  • Zoning out/mental distraction (ex, daydreaming, paying attention to wildlife or traffic - which is common in Texas)
  • Eating or drinking while driving
  • Paying too much attention to passengers
  • Driving with an unruly/uncooperative pet or one on your lap - sorry pet lovers, it's dangerous too

The statistics of distracted driving

It sounds like many of these may not be "as bad" as you think, but the reality is very different. Distracted driving is common and can happen even when we least expect it. Even the most focused drivers can become distracted because there are so many types of distractions. And these “slips” can have very real consequences.

Every year, 3,000 people die in car accidents due to distracted driving. About 8-9% of fatal accidents involve a distracted driver. This translates to the fact that since 2012, over 29,000 people have died directly due to distracted driving/drivers.

Most would assume that young drivers would be the most likely cause of distracted driving. They do tend to have a high risk of distracted driving; this is true, not to mention their lack of time on the road and skills.  However, drivers between the ages of 35-44 were responsible for causing the highest number of distracted driving fatal car accidents! Drivers between the ages of 45-54 were a close second.

Distracted driving prevention

Distracted driving has real penalties in many states. If caught and ticketed for distracted driving, you will have a dollar amount to pay, and many will have points added to their driving record. Getting more than one offense, especially if they are close together, can also result in you having a suspended license, among other things.

Distracted driving also carries a penalty for insurance providers. When there are one or two instances of distracted driving on your record, your insurance rates may skyrocket. The younger you are, the more likely that your insurance provider may refuse coverage for your future policies if you get a ticket for distracted driving.

This doesn’t even factor in the cost of being a driver who is convicted of a distracted driving offense. If the accident results in serious damage, injury, or even death, it can have a lasting impact on the driver’s life.

No matter how you look at it, distracted driving has many costs and can happen more easily than most people think; this is part of the problem and part of the reason why proper education on distracted driving risks is important. Now that you understand it a bit better, it’s the perfect opportunity to be more self-aware while driving so that you can do your part to create safer roads for everyone.

We can't encourage you enough to pay attention when you drive as the car insurance rates are already high enough without any other issues, especially right now during high/poor economic times. So please take note and also let us know how we can help with your auto insurance coverage. 

Contact Harbour Insurance Services, Inc at (281) 520-4090 with your personal insurance needs