D. Gilson is a writer and author of essays, poetry, and scholarship that explore the relationship between popular culture, literature, sexuality, and memoir. His latest book is Jesus Freak, with Will Stockton, part of Bloomsbury’s 33 1/3 Series. His other books include I Will Say This Exactly One Time and Crush. His first chapbook, Catch & Release, won the 2012 Robin Becker Prize from Seve...

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has appeared on legaladvice.com, themanifest.com, and vice.com.

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Reviewed by Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyer

UPDATED: Jan 18, 2021

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Being involved in an accident is bad. Being involved in an accident with a driver who doesn’t have insurance can be even worse. Thus, we’re big on the cost-to-benefit ratio that uninsured motorist and underinsured motorist coverages provide to drivers that select them as part of their auto insurance coverage.

Uninsured motorist coverage offers protection against being involved in a car crash with a driver that is uninsured. While the justice system does allow one to sue in the event of an accident with an uninsured motorist, the process involved can be very lengthy. And if a judgement is handed down in your favor against the uninsured driver, difficulties may persist in being able to obtain the amount awarded.

Put simply, lack of auto insurance often correlates to lack of funds. And if the driver could not afford to carry minimum liability insurance, they may not only have insufficient funds with which to pay a court judgement rendered against them, but they may also lack other sources of funding, such as property and possessions that could be sold to cover such a judgement.

The not-for-profit Insurance Research Council (IRC) is the main research body that undertakes studies to identify topics such as this – the percentage of uninsured drivers across the United States. They estimate that as many as one in six drivers in the United States may currently be driving without insurance. Their most recent study on uninsured drivers also showed a strong correlation between uninsured drivers and the general state of economic factors like the unemployment rate.

So where are your chances of being involved in an auto accident with an uninsured motorist highest? We think a good area to start is by looking at how the states line up in regards to their percentage of uninsured motorists.

All 50 States by Percentage of Uninsured Drivers

As you can see on our map below, there is a huge variation from the highest to the lowest states in terms of uninsured drivers. The five worst, with the highest percentage of uninsured driver are: New Mexico at 29%, Mississippi at 28%, Alabama at 26%, Oklahoma at 24%, and Florida coming in at fifth with 23% of its drivers uninsured. The five states with the lowest percentage of uninsured drivers are: Massachusetts at 1%, Maine at 4%, North Dakota at 5%, New York at 5%, and finally, Vermont which is at 6%.

Uninsured Drivers in the United States