Texting while driving may soon cost you higher insurance rates.

Texting and driving is a dangerous practice that no one should be doing. Unfortunately, there are those who refuse to heed the warnings and continue to use their smart phones while driving. If you are caught driving while using your smart phone it can cost you a heavy fine but even that doesn’t deter some. Well now insurance companies are getting into the game.

There is a unit of Allstate insurance that has started tracking smartphone use so that insurance companies can someday either punish or reward drivers, depending on how they use their phones while driving.

The technology uses the accelerometer and gyroscope that are internal components in all smartphones today. These devices are used to track the movements, or lack of movement of the device determining whether a driver is using their phone while operating the vehicle.

Research is ongoing to determine if this can be used to adjust customer insurance rates based on if they are a distracted driver or not. Drivers using smartphones are more likely to get into severe accidents and insurance companies end up paying out big in claims for them. According to Allstate’s data, distracted drivers cost insurance companies 160% more than the least distracted drivers.

In today’s competitive insurance environment. Allstate expects that using this smartphone data to adjust driver insurance rates will become common. Insurance companies that don’t take advantage of this when it becomes available will be at risk of falling behind the curve and losing better drivers to companies that offer discounts for not using smartphones while driving.

Still in the testing phase, this technology will need to attain regulatory approval from state insurance offices. In addition, insurance companies will not be able to use the technology without drivers agreeing to it. It is hoped that at some point, drivers will end up deciding that driving while texting is just not that good of an idea.