Data reveals a "worrying" spike in the number of uninsured drivers on UK roads

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Traffic jam on the M6 motorway
Getty

As UK roads seem to get busier and busier, it's unnerving to know that not all of those who share your daily commute are insured.

Reports have revealed a significant rise in the number of uninsured drivers on UK roads, following research carried out by the Motor Insurers' Bureau.

An investigation by the MIB found that compensation pay-outs due to uninsured drivers causing accidents increased from 21,972 in July 2014 to 24,213 in July of this year – that's a difference of 2,241, and a rise of 10.2 per cent.

Yearly, the MIB estimates that the total number of uninsured drivers on UK roads increased in 2014 to 1.03million – up 20,000 or 1.98 per cent from 1.01million in 2013.

The sharp increase comes following a decade over which the pay-outs have decreased by almost half.

The unprecedented rise could be in part due to the soaring price of insurance, which costs upwards of £1,000 per year for young drivers. The elevated price is because of their 'high risk' status, meaning that they are deemed more likely to be in an accident due to lack of experience, amongst other factors.

Due to this rise, the MIB are launching a national awareness campaign in conjunction with police forces across the country. Entitled 'Gone in Seconds', the campaign's aim is to highlight the problem and its severe consequences to young drivers.

Ashton West, chief executive at the Motor Insurers' Bureau, told the Daily Mail:
"Every year, thousands of people are injured and killed by uninsured drivers. They pose a real threat to other motorists and road users. Worryingly, this year we have seen the number of claims to MIB rising week on week.

"Our biggest concern is getting the message across to drivers under the age of 30. We know that for these drivers, their car is an important part of their social life and gives them credibility."

He added: "Since 2005, when police were granted powers to seize vehicles, the level of uninsured driving has reduced by 50 per cent to current levels of 1 million."

A study commissioned by Churchill car insurance found that so far this year, police in the UK have seized 27,688 uninsured cars, which includes two Ferraris, three Lamborghinis, 10 Bentleys and 40 Porsches.