In recent years, the number of uninsured motorists in the United States has been on the rise. A new study shows that the recession will likely cause a dramatic increase by 2010. Some states, including Oklahoma, already have a large number of uninsured drivers.
A new study by the Insurance Research Council of Malvern, PA reported that approximately 24 percent of Oklahoma drivers are uninsured. The study was conducted using last years insurance claims made by individuals who were hit by uninsured drivers and resulted in injuries. Other states with the most uninsured drivers are New Mexico, 29 percent; Mississippi, 28 percent; Alabama, 26 percent; and Florida, 23 percent. The five states with the lowest uninsured driver estimates were Massachusetts, 1 percent; Maine, 4 percent; North Dakota, 5 percent; New York 5 percent; and Vermont, 6 percent.
Another study has found that the number of uninsured motorists is linked to unemployment. Based on unemployment rates, researchers estimated the number of uninsured motorists will continue to increase until the recession ends.
There are several ways to prevent the increasing amount of uninsured motorists. Some consumers advocate giving financial aid to low-income drivers. For example, some counties in California started a low-cost auto insurance pilot program in 1999. It was later extended to the entire state in 2007. Thanks to the program, a family of four earning less than $53,000 a year can now get an affordable insurance policy. The cost of insurance can be as low as under $400 a year. There are also other methods that can help reduce the price of insurance. For example, raising deductibles, reducing coverage, and keeping only one or two cars per household.