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Uninsured drivers, a motorists worst fear?

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New research has revealed that 3.3 million drivers, 1 in 10, have been involved in a collision with an uninsured driver, and now tops the list as a drivers worst fear.

The research also showed that the likelihood facing this fear varies depending on where you live. In London, 15% of drivers have been involved in an accident with someone who didn’t have car or van insurance, closely followed by the West Midlands (14%) and the North East (13%).

Uninsured driving is a serious problem; according to the road safety charity Brake, 25% of crashes involving uninsured drivers ended up with someone being hurt and 4% of crashes with uninsured drivers ended up with someone being killed.

Unfortunately it tends to be the law-abiding drivers who come off worse, with 15% of motorists who have been involved in a collision with an uninsured driver reporting they have been hurt, and a further 10% saying their passengers had also.

According to Brake, uninsured drivers at crash scenes gave very little regard for the safety of others and saw it as an overriding priority not to get caught. In 17% of collisions, it was classed as a hit and run as the uninsured driver did not stop and left the scene.

Of those uninsured drivers who did remain at the scene; 32% lied and said they were insured and 23% tried "not to get the insurers involved".

Motor insurance has been hitting headlines recently for the rise in costs, rising by a reported 40% in the past year, with the trend set to continue. A driver can expect to pay roughly £258 more for their insurance than they did twelve months ago.

‘What Car?’ magazine recently reported on a 25-year-old man whose car insurance premium had gone up to £1,520, a rise of 77% on his previous years policy, and more than his car was actually worth. He hadn’t made a claim in the past 12 months.

The finger of blame has been pointed at rising fraud and criminal activity for this rise in costs, with a reported £1.28 in claims being paid out for every £1 in policy premiums taken.

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) says the vastly increased premiums are down to three main factors: uninsured drivers (who add on average £30-£40 a year to a motorist's policy), fraudulent claims (£41 a year) and legal fees incurred in settling personal injury claims (£41 a year).

By Ben Malkin

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