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Unlicensed, uninsured driver information

MALVERN, Pa. — Across the United States, if someone is injured in an auto accident, the chances are about one in seven that the at-fault driver is uninsured.

According to a recent Insurance Research Council study, the estimated percentage of uninsured motorists increased nationally from 12.7 percent in 1999 to 14.6 percent in 2004. However, the magnitude of the uninsured motorists problem varied widely from state to state.

The recently released study, Uninsured Motorists, 2006 Edition, examines trends from 1999 to 2004 in the percentage of uninsured drivers by state. In 2004, the six states with the highest uninsured driver estimates were Mississippi (26 percent), Alabama (25 percent), California (25 percent), New Mexico (24 percent), Arizona (22 percent) and Tennessee (21 percent). The five states with the lowest uninsured driver estimates were Maine (4 percent), Vermont (6 percent), Massachusetts (6 percent), New York (7 percent) and Nebraska (8 percent).

IRC estimates the uninsured driver population using a ratio of insurance claims made by individuals who were injured by uninsured drivers to claims made by individuals who were injured by insured drivers. The study contains recent statistics by state on uninsured motorists claim frequency, bodily injury claim frequency and the ratio of uninsured motorists to bodily injury claim frequencies.

“Even though most states require drivers to maintain insurance, the problem of uninsured motorists persists,” said Elizabeth A. Sprinkel, senior vice president of the IRC. “Responsible drivers who purchase insurance end up paying for injuries caused by uninsured drivers.”

The IRC study examined data collected from eleven insurers, representing approximately 58 percent of the private passenger auto insurance market in the United States.

High-Risk Drivers

Fact Sheet

• Unlicensed Driver Issues

• One fatal crash in five (20 percent) involves a driver who is unlicensed or whose license is suspended, canceled or revoked.

• States differ dramatically in their incidence of crashes involving unlicensed and invalidly licensed drivers, from 6.1 percent in Maine to 23.4 percent in New Mexico.

• Unlicensed drivers are almost five times more likely to be in a fatal crash than are validly licensed drivers.

• Two-thirds of drivers continue to drive while under


• Properly applied sanctions and suspensions can reduce the number of unlicensed drivers on the roads.

High Risk Drivers Fact Sheet Source: AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety


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