Many are wondering why their auto insurance rates have gone up so much recently.

There are many causes for things to go up in cost. Some price increases are due to climate changes while other increases may be due to the scarcity of some critical material or resource. The price of gasoline can have a cascading effect causing price hikes in many things that rely on some form of transportation. But what causes your auto insurance rates to go up?

Insurance is a business that is based on risk and as such, factors that can be seen to increase risk often end up reflected in higher premiums to cover that risk. In this most recent surge in the cost of insurance we may have a more familiar culprit to put the blame on. Skyrocketing auto insurance premiums in recent years can be attributed to people who habitually text and drive.

According to a report by trade group Insurance Information Institute since 2009, the average, annual U.S. car-insurance premium has risen over 17%, to $926 in 2016. The rise in premiums is a natural occurrence following the rise created by people who like driving their cars at 80 miles per hour on a crowded freeway while simultaneously looking down at their phones to text about the fact that they’re going somewhere on the freeway at that moment.

You may think that the risk may be diminished by all the new technology offered in more and more of the new cars. New technologies that offer safety alerts warning you eminent collisions may help to a certain extent, but nothing can offset the benefits of actually keeping your eyes on the road.

There seems to be no end in sight to the increasing numbers of driver/texters either. A recent Wall Street Journal article reports that 36% of drivers admitted to texting and driving in a State Farm survey in 2015, which we assume means that the real number is roughly double that.

Maybe this will change once cars start to drive themselves.