Miss Robinson from Derbyshire knows the true cost of failing to insure your vehicle when she was hit by an uninsured driver. Miss Robinson was turning into her driveway when another car drove straight into the back of her. She managed to get out of the car and stop the other driver long enough to take down his contact details. But when she later tried to call him about the accident she found the number she had been given was fake. Miss Robinson immediately phoned the police and was told that there was no record of the cars registration details. It was at this point it became clear that something was wrong.
Miss Robinson suffered from whiplash and psychological trauma, but there seem no chance of compensation. When the awful realisation dawned that the other driver was most likely un-insured Miss Robinson phoned the Citizen’s Advice Bureau and was given the contact details for the Motor Insurance Bureau. Unfortunately there were limits to what could be compensated for, in this situation and Miss Robinson was forced to pay for all repairs to her vehicle and use her vacation time to attend medical assessments for her whiplash injury.
It took a whole year for the claim to be settled and Miss Robinson was finally compensation for the accident. It was a horrendous drawn out experience that Miss Robinson is now trying to forget, and the money offered little consolation for the trauma she experienced. The payout is also of no consolation to the other 500,000 legally insured drives in Derbyshire whose premiums were forced up last year to pay for these incidents. The Motor insurance Bureau said that £15,477,000 was paid out in 2006 to 19,674 cases of traffic accidents with an uninsured driver.
The problem in catching uninsured drivers is that they are very difficult to detect. Derbyshire police did prosecute 5,000 uninsured drivers last year but admit that they are nowhere near to catching everyone who commits this crime. It is believed in Derbyshire alone there could be as many as 20,000 insured drivers on the roads, three quarters of whom are not being caught. Motorists who decide not to insure their cars know the risks they are taking and aware of the risk of getting caught and this is not enough to deter them. In addition the penalties for driving without insurance are low. In Derbyshire during 2007 the average fine awarded for driving uninsured was £367.00, which considering the average insurance premium for the same year was £629 you can see why some people may be tempted to take the risk.
Something needs to change in this system to prevent more people from not insuring their car so that repeat occurrences of Miss Robinson’s situation can finally be stopped.