Texting while driving could raise insurance premiums

Published: Friday, Oct. 19 2012 11:46 a.m. MDT

In addition to being dangerous, texting while driving may increase your insurance premiums.

Pat Wellenbach, Associated Press

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Texting while driving may increase your insurance premiums, according to Bankrate.

Insurance companies rely on citations and other violations to determine a pattern of wreckless behavior to calculate premiums because police often don’t determine whether it was texting that caused an accident.

Texting while driving is illegal in most states, those who text while driving are more likely to get cited, resulting in higher premiums.

Utah’s law, which considers distracted drivers as dangerous as drunken drivers, is seen as the strictest in the country, potentially giving an offender up to 15 years in jail, the article said.

While laws prohibiting texting while driving have increased, states with such laws have seen a 3 to 4 percent increase in accidents, Russ Rader, a spokesman for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, told Bankrate.

Rader attributes the increase in accidents to drivers holding their phones below window level to avoid getting caught, forcing them to take their eyes off the road longer.

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