In June of 2010, I received the most chilling phone calls I’d ever heard. It was the sound of my wife Ashley, hysterical and generally unintelligible letting me know she was hurt. After about 30 seconds of trying to discern what was happening, I figured out she had been in a serious car accident. She was hit at speed from behind setting off what turned out to be a seven-car accident shutting down all southbound lanes of i95. Her car was hit three times by the end of it and when I finally was able to get to the scene, I had the surreal experience of seeing her on a stretcher on i95 amid her car and others scattered across the highway.
The person behind the accident as it turned out was an uninsured motorist. Someone who shouldn’t have been on the road in the first place. Unfortunately, it’s an extremely common occurrence in Florida. In fact, based on a study by the Insurance Research Council, Florida has the 6th highest rate of uninsured motorists in the country. If you’re driving, look at the four cars closest to you. Statistically one of those drivers won’t have insurance. Uninsured motorists not only make up more than a fifth of Florida’s drivers, a 2018 study found that "uninsured drivers are found to be riskier in traffic than insured drivers".
Aside from potentially devastating consequences of reckless behavior, there’s also the direct cost of your auto insurance policy. The average cost of uninsured motorist coverage nationally is $60 per vehicle annually. In Florida, the average cost is $267 per vehicle per year. That doesn’t factor in the additional cost of auto insurance policies generally due to higher accident and claim risks due to uninsured motorists being the most likely to engage in behavior which could cause others to have accidents. Clearly the cost of uninsured motorists in Florida is extensive, and it’s something I hope gains additional attention in the state legislative session. In Florida, it’s a huge problem which is only getting bigger as our state’s population is as well.
Photo by: Getty Images