Uninsured drivers in the UK pose a danger to all other road users. The official government website states that it is illegal to drive a vehicle unless you have a minimum of third party insurance in place. This applies to all public places and all roads. The penalty for flouting this law is £300, and you’ll receive six penalty points on your licence, too.
According to research, some areas have higher percentages of uninsured drivers in the UK than others. London is a hotspot, with EC London having 6.6% of drivers without insurance, and NW London with 7.4%. Top of the chart is East London, where 13.4% of drivers were without insurance in 2016, when the research was published. At the other end of the scale, Scottish drivers were said to have the smallest number of drivers without insurance, as did the Home Counties.
What to do if you’ve been involved in an accident with an uninsured driver?
In some cases, an uninsured driver will flee the scene of an accident, because they know they do not have insurance and are therefore unable to exchange details with the other driver or parties involved. Sometimes, the driver will admit they have no insurance.
If you discover they aren’t insured, or they drive off without stopping, get the number plate of the vehicle and a description if you can. If you can take a few photos with your phone, so much the better. These might be useful as evidence, and for tracing the driver.
You must report the accident to the police so they can investigate the issue of the driver being uninsured, and – if applicable – fleeing the scene. If you were not injured in the accident but you experienced damage to your car, the report should be made within five days of the accident. If you did receive injuries, you have 14 days in which to report it to the police.
If you were injured, make sure you seek medical attention as soon as it is practical to do so. Obviously, you also need to report the accident to your insurer, and give them as much information as possible about what happened. Before you leave the scene, make sure you take photos of your car and of the scene where the collision occurred. This will help later when you come to make a claim for possible compensation, too, as well as keeping everything fresh in your mind.
Seeking medical attention is a good idea because it is not always obvious if you have injuries. The impact involved in an accident can be painful to experience, which means you could receive multiple injuries. Whiplash, seat belt bruising and swelling, and injuries to other parts of your body are all possibilities. Additionally, the speed of your car and of the other vehicle will combine to make the impact feel more pronounced than you might expect it to.
Additionally, if you do have injuries resulting from an accident with one of the uninsured drivers in the UK, you should ensure there is an official record of those injuries. If they are serious, or you are unsure of their nature, visit your nearest casualty unit for treatment. Alternatively, a visit to your GP a day or two afterwards would suffice. They can examine you and then recommend a visit to casualty if they think it is necessary. For example, a suspected broken bone would need to be x-rayed to determine if it is broken or not.
How many uninsured drivers in the UK are there?
According to information on the AA website, around 6,000 prosecutions are brought every month relating to uninsured vehicles. The Continuous Insurance Enforcement procedure came into being in 2011, which is designed to ensure everyone has continuous insurance for their vehicle, and that uninsured drivers are caught faster and sent a warning if they are not covered.
The only exception to this would be for a vehicle that is declared as being off the road. This is covered by something called SORN. This stands for Statutory Off Road Notification. There are instructions on the government website that tell you how to make this notification, and how to choose when it begins. If you do not make this notification, you can be fined for not having insurance, even if you never drove the vehicle on the road during the time the insurance was not in place. This means it is very important to follow the rules.
Uninsured drivers in the UK and you
If you’ve read this far, you may already know how stressful and upsetting it can be to be in an accident caused by a driver without any car insurance. You may not know what to do or whether you stand a chance of receiving compensation for the injuries you sustained in that accident. While getting treatment will be your priority, it’s reassuring to know we can help when it comes to finding out more about seeking compensation.
Accident Advice Helpline has already closed compensation cases on behalf of drivers who have been hurt in accidents with uninsured drivers in the UK. So, if you have been injured in a similar situation and you are unsure where to turn, turn to us today. We have a 30-second test for you to complete on this page, or if you prefer, you can call us on 0800 689 0500. You can even ring us on your mobile on 0333 500 0993. With so many ways to get in touch and make the most of our no-obligation advice service, it could be easier than you think to press ahead with a no-win, no-fee* claim. Our experienced solicitors are here to help, and they’ll take control of a claim if you decide to go ahead and make one. Make sure you don’t leave it too late, and call us as soon as possible following your road accident to find out what to do.