Louisiana car insurance rates are on the rise again and one big culprit could be the smartphone. The National Highway Safety Administration finds distracted driving is the cause for 20% of crashes in the state. State Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon says drivers are having a hard time putting down the cell phone and focusing on the road.

“They’re very addictive. All Americans are seeing that play out on a continual basis whether it’s in classrooms, or in the work site or while driving.”

Donelon says the Bayou State’s auto insurance rates have been rising for the last five years with the biggest jump of an 8 percent increase last year. He says the growing sophistication of vehicles also adds to higher auto insurance rates.

“A broken mirror can cost $1,000 to replace and all the gadgetry that comes with a new car is very expensive to repair and replace.”

A report by the LSU Highway Safety Group finds from 2011 to 2015, the number of motor vehicle accidents rose by over 12%. Donelon says with gas prices around two bucks a gallon, there are move vehicles on the road, creating an increased risk for a wreck.

“It has resulted in documented miles of driving increasing, with that more accidents, with that more deaths and with that more cost of insurance increases.”