There has been an alarming increase in the number of road traffic accidents involving uninsured drivers, according to recently released figures from the Motor Insurers Bureau (MIB).
This increase is surprising, because in recent years there has been a steady fall in the number of claims against uninsured drivers, with numbers dropping from 25,000 per year in 2004 to around 11,000. According to MIB, this fall is due to the efforts of the industry, police, DVLA and Government.
However in the last 12 months MIB has seen claims against uninsured drivers rise by almost 10%. MIB suggests a number of possible reasons for this, including an increase in people driving without insurance as well as changes in the number of vehicles on the road, the licensed population and effectiveness of enforcement.
“The numbers of claims handled by MIB each year highlights the devastating impact of uninsured driving on communities and families up and down the country,” commented Ashton West OBE, Chief Executive at MIB. “In the last year or so, for the first time in a decade or more, we are starting to see the trend of reduction actually change direction, and we have started to see it increase.”
“We recognise the need to understand the increase in claims further, so are currently undertaking a piece of work to explore what impact this could be having,” he added. “Ultimately our message is the same as always – if you are driving without insurance you will get caught.”
Previous research by MIB found that younger drivers, and especially young male drivers, were more likely to take driving-related risks than other drivers.
It found that 11% of young men compared to 5% of women said they took risks all the time. This is particularly worrying when the risks impact on driving and road safety, says MIB, as uninsured and ‘hit and run’ drivers kill around 120 people and injure 29,000 every year.
The MIB survey highlighted the risks young people are taking when it comes to car insurance:
- 25% of 18-24-year-olds admit that they have considered not taking out car insurance to save money
- A third of men aged 18-24 years state that they have not taken out car insurance to save money
- When asked if they had ever got in a car with a friend who didn’t have the correct car insurance, around double the amount of men (20%) compared to women (11%) admit that they have and regretted it
Uninsured Driving is a Risk to All
Motoring organisation RAC expressed its concern at the apparent rise in uninsured driving.
“Although the facts need to be confirmed, there is a clear suggestion here that we might be seeing an increase in uninsured drivers on our roads – which, if true, would be a cause of concern,” said RAC insurance director Mark Godfrey. “Industry figures from 2016 suggest there are around a million uninsured drivers on UK roads and that’s a figure we want to see come down, not go up.”
“Uninsured drivers represent a risk to everybody and we urge the Government to take these findings seriously and provide reassurance to motorists that they will act if needed,” he added.
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