Is it really true that there can be “too much of a good thing,” at least when it comes to technology? Technology can be good for us in many ways by making our lives easier, healthier and less costly in some cases. We all yearn for a strong economy, lower gas prices, more and better jobs and accessible health coverage for all. For some time now, the economy has been adding new jobs each month, sophisticated car technology is making driving easier and more fun and cheaper gas prices have made it easier on our budgets. More people with health insurance was promised to lessen the burden on all of us regarding health costs, although the jury is still out on this.
But in the end, it is apparently too much when it comes to insurance costs. Because of the improving economy and lower gas prices, advanced technology for our cars and more people with health insurance coverage, auto insurance rates are increasing in the state. A better economy and lower gas prices always results in an increase in cars on the highways, which naturally leads to more car accidents. Higher payouts in motor vehicle insurance settlements is the result of the increase in living and medical costs. The sophisticated technology in our vehicles means it is more expensive to repair them and despite the decrease in persons without health insurance, health care costs continue to escalate. Of course, the insurance companies will not absorb its increased costs; they are passing these on to consumers with higher rates.
Factors Leading to Increased Rates
Safety Insurance recently announced that it is increasing rates on its 420,000 drivers in the state by 6%. USAA has been increasing its rates by 8%. Mapfire USA (formally Commerce) which covers over 1 million Massachusetts motorists, is increasing its rates by 3%.
The US Department of Transportation reported an increase of 3.5% in highway miles traveled in 2015 but that traffic fatalities increased by 7.7%. The average insurance payout for an auto accident rose by 32 % between 2005 and 2013 to $15,500. But the fact that insurers’ investment income have stagnated may be a major factor in the increase. Financial analysts have questioned why insurers did not decrease rates when their investment portfolios were healthy but actually saving consumers money is generally not the goal of most insurers.
You Can Still Save
Still, as a consumer, you can explore how to save on rates by going with companies that offer discounts for safe drivers and provisions such as accident forgiveness. You can also take steps to minimize your risk of being in car accidents by following these simple tips:
- Avoid driving at night. Most drunk drivers are on the roadways after stopping off for drinks before heading home or going out for a few before bed. Weekend nights are even more hazardous. You are also more fatigued.
- Stay out of the fast lane. You have more escape lanes in the middle lanes. Most accidents occur in the fast lanes.
- Drive defensively. Assume other motorists do not see you, do not drive more than five miles per hour over the posted speed limit and be aware of your blind spots.
- Be aware of your car’s tendencies and limitations. If your car is old or large, know that it may take longer to brake and that you need to slow when making turns.
- Know your route. Driving confused or on a strange roadway while looking for the exit or a particular street can be distracting.
- Drive without distractions and remain sober. Stay away from looking at or using your cellphone. If you plan on drinking, use a ride share service like Uber or Lyft.
Commonsense can result in a lower incidence of accidents and lower rates for you.
Contact Car Accident Lawyer Neil Burns
Car accident cases demand the attention and skills of a seasoned and experienced car accident lawyer such as Neil Burns who has been representing the interests of injured motorists, passengers and pedestrians for over 30 years.
Damages in car accidents vary, but most include:
- Past and future medical costs
- Past and future wage loss
- Permanent disability
- Diminished quality of life
- Decreased income capacity
- Permanent disfigurement
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
If you’ve been injured in a car accident contact Attorney Neil Burns for a free assessment of your accident claim: (617) 227-7423