By Chris McKinnon

BOSTON (CBS) – Vacations and road trips, that’s what summer is all about, but all those extra miles are going to cost us.

Just ask Carmen of Waltham who was stunned when she recently opened her annual car insurance bill. “The increase on the policies has been unbelievable,” she told WBZ-TV.

Carmen says she is a good driver with no points on her license, but she still saw a big jump in her premium.

“It’s a rip-off,” she said.

Carmen’s story is going to be common according to Frank Doyle of AAA Southern New England. “Prices have been going up in Massachusetts and pretty much around the country,” he said.

According to Doyle, there are three main reasons.  The first is all that cheap gas we have been enjoying. “Because we are all on the road now, there are more accidents,” he told WBZ.

The second reason is that newer cars come loaded with technology like windshield sensors and backup cameras. “They are much more expensive to fix,” Doyle explained. “The bumper cover is no longer $300 or $400. It now has a camera and sensors in it so that could be a $1,200 bill.”

Third, there has been an increase in accidents because drivers can’t seem to put their phones down. “Somewhere between 16% and 17% of all the accidents right now are related to distracted driving,” Doyle said.

(WBZ-TV)

(WBZ-TV)

There are a few things you can do to keep your costs low starting with comparing insurance rates before you buy a car.

The make, model and age of a vehicle can make a big difference in the amount of insurance you’ll pay.

If you drive an older car, you might consider dropping the collision coverage to save a few dollars.

Carmen plans to shop around for the best rate, but she is worried it will still be more than she can afford. “I’m very upset, very upset. I think it’s getting out of control,” she said.

According to Doyle, drivers can expected to see their annual premium go up about five-to-nearly ten percent and that’s without any accidents or moving violations.

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