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Less Expensive Gas May Raise Insurance Rates

You’ve probably noticed a marked decrease in gas prices in 2015. Forecasts early in the calendar year projected that U.S. drivers would save as much as $75 billion in gas costs this year. On Labor Day weekend along drivers collectively saved $1 billion compared to the same weekend in 2014, when gas was $1 higher per gallon. That all sounds like positive trends, right? The problem is, research has shown that decreased gas prices lead to increased vehicle collisions. As gas prices drop, more drivers get on the road. More drivers on the road means more collisions.

More collisions means more auto insurance claims, which is likely to lead to increased rates for all drivers, not only those who are in accidents. Allstate is planning an increase of around 4% for all of its customers, and other companies are likely to follow suit.

A report by the Associated Press said that the first six months of 2015 showed a 14% increase in deaths by auto accidents. While the number of fatalities is up 14%, the average number of miles is only up 3%, that leads researchers to suspect that it’s not just the number of drivers on the road, but the number of distracted drivers that has increased.