by Scott Blumenshine
Gas prices are down. The economy is growing. These factors and others encourage more people to take to the roads for cross-country or cross-town trips. The increased number of vehicles on the roadways leads to increased accidents. The more accidents there are, the greater the increases in vehicle insurance premiums.
What has happened? For many years, statistics showed a decrease in vehicle collisions causing injuries and fatalities. Now, there has been an increase in the number of collisions. In 2015, traffic fatalities increased 8 percent from the previous year. According to a recent report in the Chicago Tribune, this represented “the largest year-to-year increase in a half-century.” One of the major issues contributing to this increase is distracted driving.
The occurrence of distracted driving is so widespread that there is now an official U.S. Government Website for Distracted Driving. Although texting or using a cell phone are the two main things people think about when they hear the term “distracted driving,” there are other driver actions that are distracting. The primary distracted driving activities:
In 2010, the National Occupation Protection Use Survey (NOPUS) determined that at any moment, 660,000 drivers are texting. Thousands of other drivers are combing their hair or grooming themselves, adjusting the radio or manipulating a device. The distracted driving government site is on a mission to educate everyone on the dangers so that lives may be saved. Although not as important as saving lives, fewer car crashes will also help bring insurance rates down.
State Farm Agent Marge Perdue reports that nationwide, insurance rates are rising based on the increase in accidents. Forbes Magazine says that the increase in the accident rate has resulted in auto insurance companies “bleeding money.” Almost all major companies raised their premiums for 2016 and are expected to raise them again for 2017.
Forbes reported that almost all major auto insurers lost money in 2015 and for the first few months of 2016. For example, in 2015, Allstate lost $13 million. Allstate’s CEO attributed the loss primarily to the increase in accidents. They have increased their rates for all three of their major brands: Allstate, Esurance and Encompass.
Forbes has some suggestions that you, as a consumer, can use in an attempt to keep your own premiums as low as possible.
The fact is, it is illegal to drive without auto insurance. You would not want to do that anyway. If you are in a vehicle accident, you need the security of knowing that you have auto insurance.
If you were injured in a traffic crash, or someone you love was killed in a vehicle collision, contact our personal injury attorneys at Meyer & Blumenshine for a free consultation. We have years of experience in helping people in the Chicago area receive compensation for their injuries.