Car owners and policyholders in the windy city are eagerly anticipating the implementation of a new federal law that can result in lower premiums for motorists who follow traffic rules. According to insurance experts in Chicago, the approval of the Alert Drivers Act of 2009 on Capitol Hill can signal the start of a new era in the Chicago auto insurance industry.
The said legislation will require states to penalize motorists fond of using their mobile phones for texting while driving. If the states fail to comply with the guidelines issued by the federal government, then they can stand to lose a substantial portion of their highway financing. Experts say that as much as 25 percent of a state’s financial assistance fund from the federal government can be lost until they set minimum penalties. If they comply with the requirements and enact acceptable laws and provisions, however, the state can recover lost funds.
Safety analysts say that as much as 80 percent of all accident are caused by driver distraction. The presence of electronic devices like portable music players, GPS systems, and mobile phones is making it harder for drivers to concentrate on the road ahead. Studies also suggest that an estimated 65 percent of near-accidents were attributed to driver distraction.
Some leading insurance specialists say that the new provisions expected to be implemented by the federal government is a good initiative to curb the use of mobile phones and eventually reduce distraction-caused accidents. analysts also say that with fewer distractions and less accidents, insurance rates can go down significantly.
Several studies conducted by private research firms have found out that motorists lose their focus and take their eyes off the road ahead for an average of five seconds every time they read or send text messages. The time spent is equivalent to travelling some 100 yards on the freeway or open highway. A separate research conducted by the University of Utah also discovered that drivers who text while behind the wheel are eight times more likely to be in an accident. Researchers have also found out that the probability increases with younger and more inexperienced motorists.
Because insurance providers base premiums on risk, avoiding accidents is paramount to getting lower rates. Insurers in Chicago say that with more and more residents purchasing new cars, proper safety laws are important in ensuring fewer car crashes. Less accidents would eventually translate to lower rates.