Texting and driving may now cost Texas drivers

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Wrecks and DUI convictions are known to cause spikes in auto insurance rates, but distracted driving is also quickly becoming a reason for higher rates.

According to the insurance search engine, The Zebra, a citation for texting and driving will cost you more than just the price of the ticket because auto insurance companies are beginning to take notice.

"They have tickets that say that they were driving distracted, so then they're able to go to the insurance regulators. Insurance is regulated by the state, and they can prove, they have the math to say this is costing us money," said Alyssa Connolly, Director of Market Insights at The Zebra.

The Zebra's research found, in Texas, the average annual policy for a driver without any wrecks or violations is about $1,827.

Their research shows an auto insurance rate about 10 percent higher on average if you have a texting and driving violation on your record. That's about $177 more per year.

By comparison, a DUI could mean $669 more tacked onto your policy. If you cause a wreck, the average cost is $801 more a year.

A variety of factors determine your policy price, according to Connolly, "A lot of times population and weather are a big factor, but distracted driving and human behavior is starting to become much more costly to auto insurance rates as well. "

Drivers we talked to, like Liz Nunez, say they're doing what they can to fend off pricey premiums.

"It's not good for our wallet, but it's good for our safety, for ourselves, and the pedestrians."

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