Let’s face it, texting and driving is a real problem and nearly everyone does it. If you’re not texting, you’re changing the music on your playlist, switching podcasts, or checking the score on the game. Either way, your eyes aren’t on the road while you’re driving a 2 ton vehicle down a neighborhood street where kids are playing or on the freeway with stop and go traffic. For those of you responsible enough to not let any of these distractions into your driving habits, we say “thank you”.
Distracted driving is not only dangerous, it’s also costly. Since 2011, the average auto insurance premium has increased 16 percent to $926. Insurance companies say the large spike is partly caused by more drivers distracted on their smartphones and getting into collisions.
Last year, more than 40,000 people died on the road, which is up 14 percent since 2015. This is the steepest rise in 53 years. These aren’t just teenagers causing accidents; State Farm says that 36 percent of all drivers text and drive – we tend to think it’s a lot more.
In an effort to combat collisions caused by distracted driving, Arizona lawmakers approved the first ban on texting while driving in April. The bill forbids all drivers under the age of 18 from using any wireless device while they hold a learner’s permit and extends into the first six months of their license. The hope is to develop good habits in new drivers.
If Governor Doug Ducey signs the bill for newly licensed drivers, it will take effect July 1st of 2018. Some Arizona lawmakers fear this texting ban is a gateway to making it illegal for everyone statewide, while others encourage such a law.
Either way, distracted driving is extremely dangerous and is going to make your insurance cost more, year after year. Whether it’s illegal or not yet, don’t do it! Just remind yourself “it can wait”.
-AZ Insurance Team