Distracted driving: The risks and insurance implications

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12 Dec 2023

Driving Focus: Navigating the Risks of Distracted Driving and Insurance Consequences

It was recently reported by the World Health Organisation (WHO) that every year, road accidents claim the lives of around 1.2 million people globally. Sadly, India is the primary contributor to worldwide road crash fatalities and injuries. It is estimated that every hour, the country witnesses the loss of 16 lives due to road accidents. In the last ten years, 1.3 million lives were lost, while another 5.3 million individuals were permanently disabled due to road accidents.

The proliferation of mobile phones is an important risk factor for road crash injuries. Said to be one of the most dangerous driver behaviours, mobiles can cause four types of driving distractions: visual, auditory, cognitive and manual/physical.

Distracted driving: A curse for the road

Talking on your phone, eating or drinking or attending to passengers while driving can cause distractions. This behaviour can easily distract attention from the road, increasing the risk of accidents. In a matter of seconds, a small act of carelessness can jeopardise safety, causing injuries or fatalities not just for the driver but for the others, too.

The risks and insurance implications

Distracted driving poses substantial safety risks and carries significant financial consequences. Beyond the immediate threat of accidents, this behaviour influences insurance costs and legal accountabilities, amplifying its broader implications. Let us take a look at how driving distractions can affect your car insurance policy and its premiums.

  1. Your claim might get rejected
    While your car insurance policy offers coverage for car accidents, keep in mind that accidents due to negligence may not be covered. If you are found to be at fault or were driving under the influence of alcohol/ any other intoxicant, your insurer can reject your claim request.

  2. You lose out on your NCB
    Even if you do make a claim for accidental damages, you need to remember that a claim will make you lose out on your no claim bonus. The NCB can get you up to a 50% discount on your upcoming premium. We at Kotak car insurance urge you to be careful while driving.

  3. It affects your driving record
    Every accident or traffic violation has an effect on your driving record. People who have been involved in numerous accidents may be seen as high-risk policyholders and would have to pay a higher price for their car insurance policy.

  4. Your insurance application may get rejected
    A poor driving history can put you in a bad light. So much so that an insurance company may refuse to offer you coverage.

Conclusion

Combating driving distractions involves focusing solely on driving and refraining from all kinds of distractions. You have to have heightened awareness and show responsible behaviour when you are behind the wheel. This will not only help in preventing accidents but also ensure road safety for all.

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Team Kotak GIC

The content of this blog has been created and carefully reviewed by the esteemed team at Kotak General Insurance, with the sole purpose of providing valuable guidance and sharing insights on the importance of general insurance. Our objective is to assist users in making informed decisions when purchasing or renewing insurance policies for their cars, bikes, and health. Our expertly curated information aims to empower our readers with the knowledge they need to protect their valuable assets and financial interests.