This article by Deirdre Fernandez explains why, according to the insurance industry, car insurance rates are on the rise: "Drivers distracted by their smartphones are crashing their cars more often, and those cars are now more expensive to repair because they’re loaded with sensors and devices." Some excerpts:
TrueMotion is a Boston company that makes an app to track how much drivers use their phones. In its most recent data covering 18,000 users, TrueMotion found that drivers spent 20 percent of every trip on a call, holding their phone, or texting and scrolling through social media. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said fatalities attributed to distracted driving, which includes texting, fiddling with GPS, even eating, increased by 8.8 percent in 2015, the latest year available. Those incidents helped reverse a long-running decline in automobile-related fatality rates. In 2015, the overall number of motor vehicle fatalities in the United States increased 7.2 percent, the largest jump in half a century. * * * [According to industry spokespersons,] [o]ther factors are also driving rates up, particularly the increasing amount of technology packed into cars these days, such as sensors that monitor and measure nearly every aspect of performance. Just fixing a damaged bumper cost $1,705 more in 2016 than it did two years earlier ... . A simple windshield replacement that used to cost about $350, now involves higher-quality glass and connections to the car’s sensors, and costs twice as much.