Florida’s Poor Drivers are a Reminder to Have Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Florida leads the nation in many respectable categories. But it also leads the nation in some areas that it’s better not to be on top. A recent study of driving habits and insurance laws has revealed that Florida drivers are among the worst in the nation.
Study Shows Poor Florida Drivers
Florida drivers ranked fourth worst nationally, tied with drivers from Nevada and Texas. This is a step down for Florida, which last year “only” was ranked eight worst.
The study considered factors such as the number of DUI arrests, the percentage of drivers who were uninsured, accident fatalities, and how often people searched for certain terms related to poor driving or accidents on Google (admittedly, not the most reliable indicator of driving habits).
Florida did have the eighth lowest DUI rating in the nation, with just over 2 arrests per 1,000 drivers. Florida was also was 11th nationally in traffic tickets, and was #1—meaning, the lowest ranked—in the number of insured drivers on the road. According to the study, just over 70% of drivers are driving with proper insurance.
Mississippi, Alabama and California took the top three spots overall for the worst drivers. Massachusetts was ranked highest on the list, with the best drivers.
Uninsured Drivers and UM Insurance
Of course, this study is not exact—for example, there is nothing that says that just because someone is uninsured, that he or she is necessarily a bad driver, or more or less likely to get into a car accident. Still, uninsured drivers come with special problems when they do cause accidents and injure people.
If someone is uninsured and causes an accident, it may leave a victim with no insurance company to ensure that any settlement or verdict gets paid. Victims may be left to go after whatever assets a driver may have, and chances are, if someone is driving with no insurance, they may have very little assets to satisfy a larger judgment.
The study is a good reminder of the importance of uninsured motorist insurance (sometimes called “UM”). If someone causes an accident, your UM insurance will “stand in the shoes” of the liable party, and act as the insurance for that person. Even though your UM policy is yours, and you are the insured, the UM insurance will pay to you, whatever the other driver’s insurance would have paid, had they been properly insured.
UM also has other benefits. It can act as an insurer if you are hit by a “phantom driver,” such as in a hit and run.
UM is also sometimes called “underinsured motorist” coverage, because it will pick up the excess that is owed to you to compensate you for damages, if your damages exceed the policy of a driver who is insured but with a very small policy. For example, if your damages are found to be worth $100,000 and the negligent driver only had a $10,000 policy, your UM would take care of the $90,000 difference.
The Tampa car accident attorneys at the Pawlowski//Mastrilli Law Group can answer your questions and help you obtain damages for injuries sustained in a car accident.