Insurance agent: Distracted driving raising rates

With stiffer fines taking effect July 1, insurance companies are asking drivers to stay safe.

Posted: Jun. 27, 2018 5:47 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- One local insurance agent said distracted driving is causing rates to rise and wants people to be safe as stiffer fines take effect July 1.

“Over time it is impacting the rates,” said Mike Barclay, a Farmers Insurance agent in Eugene. “Rates aren’t really softening up at the moment they say seem to be slowly increasing at times and companies are really taking a look at driving records and how people are driving.”

Barclay said he warns his customers of the dangers of distracted driving every day. Farmers Insurance has an app that can track your driving habits and those of other drivers in your home, including distracted driving. 

Many apps insurance companies have give customers discounts if they are safe drivers. Cell phone companies also have apps that can be found on the Google Play Store and the App Store.

Starting July 1, you could face a big fine and even jail time if you're caught using your phone behind the wheel without a hands-free device. A first offense that doesn't cause a crash could result in a $1,000 fine. The second offense, or first if it caused a crash, could cost you $2,500. If you're caught three times in ten years, it could mean not only a $2,500 fine, but it could also land you in jail for six months.

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