Put your phone away and pay attention. If you can’t do it for safety, do it for your pocketbook.
FOX Business is reporting that text messaging drivers could soon be dishing out more for their car insurance.
Our Queens car accident lawyers oftentimes talk about your risks for an accident when talking on a cell phone or when texting behind the wheel. As a matter of fact, you’re about 4 times more likely to get into a car accident when using a hand-held cell phone and about 23 times more likely to get into an accident when text messaging while driving. These accidents kill thousands each and every year.
In the state of New York, drivers are prohibited from both talking on a hand-held cell phone and text messaging behind the wheel. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), drivers aren’t always listening. And now insurance companies are targeting those who don’t. Currently, there are only 10 states that have enacted laws against hand-held cell phone-using drivers.
The problem with the laws in most states is that it’s legal to talk on a cell phone, but illegal to text. This makes it tough for officers to stop and cite a driver because they can’t tell if a driver was dialing or composing a text message.
To help to stop these dangerous driving behaviors, officials with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently launched a $550,000 pilot enforcement program in Massachusetts and in Connecticut. This pilot program is being used to test out different ways to enforce these laws.
“While it is relatively easier for law enforcement to determine illegal handheld cell phone use by observing the position of the phone at the driver’s ear,” said David Strickland, NHTSA Administrator.
Regardless of whether officers are paying attention or not, insurance companies are. They’re not always there to help you in the event of an accident, but it seems they’re always there to charge you more for your coverage — one way or another. They’ve always used traffic violations to judge a driver’s risk for an accident. They oftentimes use the point system from these citations to calculate your risks and increase your rates. Even in states where a cell phone or texting ticket does not result in points on your license, companies are soon expected to start charging convicted drivers more for auto insurance.
New York Point System:
-3 Points: Speeding (1 to 10 miles over speed limit), violating a railroad crossing, unsafe lane changes, driving in the wrong direction, improper passing, leaving the scene of an accident resulting in property damage in an accident, neglecting to properly buckle in a child under 16 and neglecting to yield.
-4 Points: Speeding (11 to 20 miles over the speed limit), tailgating and improperly-working brakes.
-5 Points: Not stopping for a school bus and reckless driving.
-6 Points: Speeding (21 to 30 miles over the speed limit).
-8 Points: Speeding (31 to 40 miles over the speed limit).
-11 Points: Speeding (traveling 40 miles over the speed limit).
-All over moving violations (including texting while driving) come with 2 points added to your driver’s license.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident, contact the Law Offices of Nicholas Rose, PLLC for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights. Call 1-877-313-7673 today!
U Text and Drive? Expect Higher Car Insurance, by Don Hanzlik, Fox Business
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