In one of those few moments you should thank your lucky stars that statisticians figure out insurance rates than public opinion, CarInsurance.com ran a poll in which it surveyed 1,000 people to see how they would adjust rates. Much of it makes sense; some of it is downright scary. Let’s look at the numbers.
According to the survey, split between 500 men and 500 women all 18 and over, 72.9 percent of respondents believe those who text while driving should pay more for car insurance than those who speed. We can get behind that. Additionally, 52.9 percent said a cell phone ticket should add an insurance surcharge, which it doesn’t currently, and 51.6 percent said the installation of a cell phone-disabling device should knock down insurance rates.
So far, none of that sounds too egregious.
Then we get to this:
If there were a camera inside your car, allowing the insurance company to see how you drive, 16.2 percent would raise rates because of a screaming child in the back, 16.4 percent would have your rates increased for left-lane camping, 26.4 percent say that having loud metal music would be justification for raising rates, 39.7 percent would raise your rates for eating a sandwich while driving, 47.4 percent would raise rates for a lap dog, and 75.7 percent would drop the hammer on holding a cell phone to your ear.
Great, so we encourage Puritanical hearsay for the sake of insurance now, or at least we’d like to as a society.
Admittedly, distracted driving is a big cause for concern among drivers. Whether you’re the perpetrator or sharing the road with someone gabbing on a phone, no one wants to be put in the position of risking his or her safety. As someone who has had to eat on the go a few times, though, I’m thankful that insurance companies dictate rates with statistics rather than with a people’s court of opinions.