Distracted driving raises insurance premiums

While certainly they are not always easy to deal with when it comes to asking for compensation, insurance companies can be very useful in helping Baton Rouge residents to see what is and is not dangerous behavior behind the wheel.

The reason is that insurance carriers will charge higher premiums on motorists who engage in driving habits that are known to be dangerous. In this respect, the fact that premium increases due to distracted driving have spiked by almost 10,000% since the start of the decade should serve as a clear and obvious warning that distracted driving causes car accidents.

Back in 2011, a driver who got cited for an offense related to distracted driving could expect to pay premium of about $3 more a month. Now, the same offense will, on average, spell a $290 annual premium increase, or over $24 a month. The exact premium increase depends heavily on where a motorist accused of distracted driving lives and does most of his or her driving.

It should be noted, though, that these numbers are simply for when a driver gets a ticket for distracted driving, not for those occasions in which a distracted motorist actually causes an accident.

The reality is that these premium increases are not surprising. While drunk driving leads to almost 30 fatalities daily, the number of traffic-related deaths due to texting and driving and other types of distracted driving approaches 10 every day. As a basis of comparison, a convicted drunk driver will expect to pay $1,086 more in insurance premiums annually.

In any event, the extra premium a distracted driver pays is nothing compared to what a victim may have to pay in terms of medical expenses, lost wages and the like after being involved in a car accident. Louisiana victims have the right to receive compensation for these losses.

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