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Who are uninsured motorists?

Nationwide, approximately 16 percent of drivers are currently on the road but do not have the legally required car insurance. In North Carolina, this number is significantly lower at only 8 percent, according to statistics gathered by the Insurance Research Council, but that is still almost 1 in 10 drivers without insurance. When these drivers cause accidents that injure others, this means that there is no insurance company to pay out anything, and the onus falls on the driver who is very likely not to have enough funds or assets to cover the costs.

Those who own older cars are much more likely to be driving without insurance, with 40 percent of uninsured drivers being those with cars at least 15 years old. This is likely because, in an accident, the car would be worth less than the repairs, so the consequences to the driver are minimal. Demographically, men are more likely to drive without insurance, with 62 percent of uninsured motorists identifying as males, and 22 percent are between the ages of 18 and 24.

Uninsured drivers are almost always aware that they are driving without insurance, and they are knowingly taking the risk that they will cause an accident and injure another person and not be able to pay for their actions.

Some common reasons that uninsured motorists cite for not carrying insurance on their vehicles include not being able to afford insurance coverage or that the vehicle is not currently being driven. No matter what the person's excuse is, the fact is that driving without car insurance is against the law. In addition to criminal penalties, victims may also be able to file suit against these drivers in civil court to attempt to recoup costs and be awarded monies for accident-related expenses.

Source: Statistic Brain, "Uninsured Motorist Statistics," accessed April. 15, 2015

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