Texas residents and others who choose to text while driving may pay more for car insurance. A company called Arity uses components within the smartphone to tell if it is in a driver's hand or on a flat surface while a car is in motion. It can also tell if smartphone apps are being used. Arity is part of Allstate, and information gathered may be used by the company as a factor in determining a person's car insurance rate.
To some, the fact that a driver may use a smartphone may be more indicative of their risk than credit score data. Information collected by Arity found that those who use smartphones while driving tend to be more dangerous on the road. They also tend to be more expensive for insurance companies. Specifically, distracted drivers cost 160 percent more than those who aren't as distracted as distracted drivers are more likely to get into accidents.
Those accidents are more likely to be severe in nature, which may increase the cost per claim. As time goes on, insurance companies might offer discounts to those who choose not to use their smartphones while driving. Offering discounts may be one way to get drivers to put their phones away while operating their vehicles.
Distracted driving may be considered a form of negligent behavior on behalf of a motorist. Distracted drivers who cause car accidents may be liable for damages incurred by victims, such as current and future medical expenses or the cost to replace property destroyed in an accident. Injured victims may also be entitled to lost wages or lost future earnings caused by their injuries. In some cases, multiple parties might be deemed liable for damages that victims incur.