Let’s say you get hurt in an auto accident, but the responsible driver has no insurance. But how likely is that scenario? According to Insurance Research Council data, uninsured drivers currently cause about 1 in 8 auto accidents nationwide. However, those rates can vary wildly depending on where you live. See where you’re most (and least) likely to get hurt in a crash with an uninsured driver below.
10 Places You’re Most likely to Run Into Uninsured Drivers
These states have a higher-than-average percentage of uninsured drivers on the road. But how dangerous are each state’s drivers, and what are your odds for getting hurt in an accident there? Below are the top 10 danger zones, according to National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). So if you live, work or vacation in one of these areas, consider adding extra coverage to your policy. (Yes, even if you’re just renting a car there for the weekend!)
1. Florida (27% uninsured)
Over 1,000 crashes happen every day in Florida, and the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles listed 265,155 collision-related injuries in 2016.
2. Mississippi (24% have no car insurance)
In 2016, Mississippi had the highest number of car-crash fatalities (25.3 deaths per 100,000 people, or 1.7 people killed for every 100 million miles driven).
3. New Mexico (21% uninsured)
As the third-deadliest state for careless driving fatalities in 2016, New Mexico also ranked 11th in the country for DUIs.
4. Michigan (20.3% aren’t insured)
In 2017, nearly 1 in 5 crashes resulted in injuries. In other words, statistically, 1 out of every 127 Michiganders got hurt.
5. Tennessee (20% have no coverage)
Police issued more than 501,000 traffic accident reports in 2017 that included 30,000 minor, major or fatal injuries.
6. Alabama (18% without insurance)
Over a lifetime, Alabamans have a greater than 1 in 3 chance for getting hurt or killed in a car crash. Unfortunately, the state also reported higher car accident fatality rates than the national average in 2016.
7. Washington (17% uninsured)
This state doesn’t require a driving instruction course for anyone 18 or older getting their license. Distracted driving’s a huge problem, and it’s easy to see why. On average, Seattle commuters spend 55 hours per week stuck in traffic.
8. Indiana (16.7% have no coverage)
Indiana drivers are #1 in the U.S. for road rage incidents, which caused 10% of the state’s fatal crashes in 2015.
9. Arkansas (16.6% uninsured)
It’s the most dangerous state to drive in while it’s raining, according to a recent Safewise study. That’s not great news for visitors passing through, since the state averages 102 days of rain annually.
10. Washington, D.C. (15.6% drive without it)
D.C. ranks third on Allstate’s list of U.S. cities with the worst drivers. In fact, they file almost twice as many auto accident claims compared to the national average!
10 States With the Lowest Percentage of Uninsured Drivers
The following states have the lowest percentage of motorists driving without car insurance:
- Maine — 4.5%
- New York — 6.1%
- Massachusetts — 6.2%
- North Carolina — 6.5%
- Vermont — 6.8%
- Nebraska — 6.8%
- North Dakota — 6.8%
- Kansas — 7.2%
- Pennsylvania — 7.6%
- South Dakota — 7.7%
Recently hurt in a car crash while traveling through one of these states? Then you’re much more likely to recoup damages at the other driver’s expense.
How Much Money Will Insurance Companies Pay For A Bodily Injury Claim?
The amount insurers can legally pay each person with auto accident injuries depends on where it happened. Find your state’s maximum payout amount for bodily injury claims under standard car insurance policies below:
- $10,000 — California (only applies to low-income drivers with Assigned Risk Plans), Florida, New Jersey (only applies to basic policy holders)
- $15,000 — Arizona, California, Louisiana, New Jersey, Pennsylvania
- $20,000 — Hawaii, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan
- $25,000 — Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Washington D.C., Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming
- $30,000 — Maryland, Minnesota, North Carolina, Texas
- $50,000 — Alaska, Maine
And if the other driver’s policy refuses to pay some medical bills (i.e., physical therapy)? If that happens to you, we recommend consulting a lawyer before accepting their offer.
How to Recoup All Costs After an Uninsured Driver Injures You
If an uninsured driver injures you, notify your own insurer about the accident as soon as possible. There’s a good chance you’ll have to eat some of those costs, though. In most cases, the only way to recover 100% of your losses is through a personal injury attorney.
Insurance providers typically pay just 54% of auto accident costs, according to NHTSA data. If you can’t afford to pay half your expenses from an accident that wasn’t your fault, talk to a lawyer for free instead.
Related: How to Avoid Going Broke If You’re Hurt in a Car Crash
Lori Polemenakos is Director of Consumer Content and SEO strategist for LeadingResponse, a legal marketing company. An award-winning journalist, writer and editor based in Dallas, Texas, she's produced articles for major brands such as Match.com, Yahoo!, MSN, AOL, Xfinity, Mail.com, and edited several published books. Since 2016, she's published hundreds of articles about Social Security disability, workers' compensation, veterans' benefits, personal injury, mass tort, auto accident claims, bankruptcy, employment law and other related legal issues.