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Property Casualty Insurers Association of America supports drive against distracted driving

ABR Staff Writer Published 01 April 2016

With increase in distracted driving, which is contributing to increase in motor vehicle crashes and fatalities, the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) is supporting the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) "One Text or Call Could Wreck It All" campaign to stop distracted driving.

Following decades of decline, 2015 data show a steep increase in auto accident frequency and highway fatalities.

Historically, NHTSA research has pointed to human factors contributing to 94 percent of auto accidents. Recent PCI analysis finds that distracted driving, in all its forms, is a leading factor in the rise of accidents over the last two years.

Furthermore, increased traffic congestion could be another leading factor in more accident frequency.

PCI personal lines policy assistant vice president, Robert Passmore said: "Although there is no single answer to addressing the problem of distracted driving, there are a number of ways that motorists, policymakers, insurers, and car makers can work together to make roads safer."

"The implementation and enforcement of distracted-driving laws, which discourage texting while driving and ban handheld cellphone use are an important start. It takes a coordinated strategy combining education, personal responsibility and enforcement to get results."

Today, 46 states, along with D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands, ban text messaging for all drivers. All but five states have primary enforcement. Of the four states without an all-driver texting ban, two prohibit text messaging by novice drivers and one restricts school bus drivers from texting.

Passmore said: "In addition to the public safety concerns regarding the increase in the frequency of auto accidents, data also highlights that the insurance claims costs associated with auto accidents are becoming more expensive and this trend could impact insurance costs."

"The current trend lines make it even more important that we work together in order to avoid unsafe driving behaviors, enact or strengthen laws banning texting and hand-held cell phone use while driving, and expand crash avoidance technology in new cars. Together, this can make our roads safer and lower our insurance costs."

Source: Company Press Release