Could higher fines reduce road traffic accidents?
As insurance premiums start to creep up again, this time due to cheaper petrol prices, personal injury solicitor, Kevin Smith, fears this could prompt more uninsured drivers to take to our roads and increase the risk of road traffic accidents:
“Whilst it may be a huge generalisation to say that uninsured drivers are more reckless than insured motorists, figures obtained by a Freedom of Information request appear to support such a view; each year uninsured drivers cause approximately 130 deaths and more than 26,000 injuries.
“So why are so many drivers taking the risk and driving without insurance? Many think it’s because there is no real risk involved.
“On average motorists driving without insurance are fined just £322 despite there being a maximum penalty of £5000. This is a fraction of most insurance premiums, particularly those for high risk and younger drivers who are often faced with a £2000+ insurance quote.
“And yet this is actually counterproductive; the AA calculated that uninsured drivers cost the insurance industry around £380million each year, adding £33 to every insurance policy. Now, as much as I'd like cheaper premiums to be a viable solution, the fact remains that this option isn’t even on the table. Higher penalties for uninsured drivers can be however and perhaps if fines for driving without insurance are in keeping with insurance premiums then this will encourage more drivers to get the right cover and, in turn, drive more safely to avoid having a claim against them thus minimising the risk of some road traffic accidents.”
Making a claim against an uninsured driver
If you have been injured in an accident caused by an uninsured or untraceable driver (e.g. a hit and run) you can still claim compensation for your injuries and any subsequent damage and costs. Kevin Smith explains how:
“The Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) provides a compensation fund which is there to reimburse victims of road accidents with uninsured or untraceable drivers.
“Our team of personal injury solicitors can make a claim on your behalf against the MIB under the Uninsured or Untraced Drivers’ Agreement.”
Content correct at time of publication