As if causing an accident and hurting yourself or someone else isn’t enough of a reason to stop texting and driving, you can now add increased insurance rates to the mix.

That’s right, insurance companies are reporting that rates have been going up primarily because of the increase in vehicle crashes caused by distracted driving. Every time someone slams their car into a tree while Tweeting their friends about the bad day they had at work, an insurance company has to pay. If an insurance company has to pay they pass that “loss” on to all their members, thereby raising rates ever so slightly.

If this happens often enough, rates can go up significantly. And if you consider that distracted driving is now more dangerous and more likely to cause a traffic fatality than driving under the influence, it is no wonder rates are going up.

According to a recent report by the number of crashes caused by drivers using their cell phones for one reason or another have doubled since 2005. This increase in crashes is having an impact on insurance rates. That means drivers who don’t use their cell phones while they are behind the wheel are paying the price for those drivers who do.

According to a recent report by the Centers for Disease Control, 25 percent of all drivers between the ages of 18 and 29 say they make a habit of using their cell phones while driving.

This might be why the National Highway Transportation Safety Board saw a marked increase in the number fatalities related to distracted driving since 2008.

There really is no excuse for distracted driving. All you have to do is not use your phone or any handheld device and concentrate on the skill of driving to decrease your chance of having a fatal accident, yet people continue to do it.

Now we are all paying the price for other driver’s reckless behavior.

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