Is Your Bad Driving Making Insurance Companies Rich(er)?

Accident Car Crash With Bicycle On Road

Auto insurance companies are reporting record profits. This is happening because premiums are rising. That much makes sense.

But why are premiums going up so much? Could it have something to do with your driving behavior?

Pandemic and the Advent of Angry Driving

Those who read my blogs regularly know that I’m not just a personal injury lawyer, but I’m also a serious bicyclist. I start my rides in the city of Chicago, and it doesn’t take more than a few blocks to notice aggressive, inattentive, and downright angry drivers.

At least anecdotally, I’ve seen drivers making more bad decisions than in the past. And because I am facing forward and always mindful of traffic behind me, I can actually HEAR the difference in the aggressive revving of engines as they pass me, often intentionally as close to me as possible to scare the daylights out of me.

Isn’t that fun?!

But many experts, as well as everyday observers have noticed that much of these trends began when the Covid pandemic was in full bloom. Roads were less populated, many “normal” standards of life were suspended. People who drove often felt as if they had the roads to themselves, and in many cases they actually did.

Then, things got closer and closer to normal, with commutes to the office, transportation of child athletes to soccer, baseball, hockey, and volleyball, school children being shuttled to and fro; in other words, pre-pandemic traffic happened.

What didn’t change was the way many people drove. The aggressiveness, the speeding, the impatience, all continued.

Traffic injuries and fatalities increased significantly from pre-pandemic levels.

Rates Increase

Rates for insurance are legalized gambling. Insurance companies are in the business to make money. The less they pay out in claims, the more money they make (which is one reason we personal injury and workers’ compensation lawyers need to exist—to force insurers to compensate fairly injured people).

The calculation as to how many claims, how severe those claims are, and all that is factored on past behavior and averages. As carriers noticed more injuries and fatalities, more careless or aggressive driving, and more instances of road rage, they decided to raise insurance premiums to cover their potential losses.

Higher premiums mean higher profits, as long as they didn’t undercalculate the amount of claims they would have to pay out.

Which is why insurers are earning record profits.This is not news, since insurance companies always earn massive profits.

What Can and Should You Do?

First of all, assume most people will drive like jerks. Assume they might stop at stop signs, but not all the time. Assume they might not look through their turns for pedestrians. Assume they will be angry that you, a bicycle, are lawfully using “their” road.

Sure, you should trust those green lights and drive through them, but always be mindful and alert. Expect people to cut corners, pass when they shouldn’t, try to beat lights, and make left turns in front of you. It’s what people do. We have proof in the data. And it is costing you.


  • Drivers are less careful these days
  • Less careful drivers lead to more crashes, injuries, and fatalities
  • More claims means insurance carriers raise premium rates
  • Drivers should be mindful of other drivers and those “pandemic driving habits”

Contact Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Stephen Hoffman

As in all cases involving injury, dog bites or injuries, workers’ compensation, medical malpractice, or other injury and potential liability, if you have been hit by a vehicle immediately get medical treatment, report the crash to police and your own insurance company, and contact a lawyer with expertise in your type of case, such as bicycle accidents or pedestrians hit by cars.

If you've been in an accident and have questions, contact Chicago personal injury attorney Stephen L. Hoffman for a free consultation at (773) 944-9737. Stephen has over 30 years of legal experience and has collected millions of dollars for his clients. He is listed as a SuperLawyer, has a 10.0 rating on Avvo, and is BBB A+ accredited. He is also an Executive Level Member of the Lincoln Square Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce.

Stephen handles personal injury claims on a contingency fee basis, which means you don’t pay anything up front, and he only gets paid if you do. Don’t wait another day; contact Stephen now.

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