HOUSTON(KIAH) — Because of the increase of drivers on the roads compared to last year and the number of accidents also going up, car insurance rates in the Houston area are increasing.

According to Zebra’s sixth annual State of Auto Insurance Report, the Houston metro auto insurance rates rose as much as 5% in some areas, as the rates vary by zip code.

As drivers returned to the roads and drove more as pandemic shutdowns eased, there were more accidents on the roads. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 20,160 people died in motor vehicle crashes in the first half of 2021, up 18.4% over 2020.

The Houston area also had significant population growth and one of the highest reported years for car thefts in the country. Severe weather events like the February freeze also contributed to the price increase.

One way to try to drive the rates back down is that drivers should continue to be safe behind the wheel and protect their vehicles from theft and other weather-related hazards that are avoidable, like driving on flooded streets.