The top areas for uninsured drivers have been revealed as car insurance premiums continue to soar.
New data shared by the Motor Insurance Bureau reveals the worst culprits, with Leeds topping the list of areas outside London, and Bristol, Salford and Manchester now overtaking Birmingham as the worst affected areas for motorists dodging cover.
Men and young adults were among the worst culprits and the problem was more prevalent in cities and urban areas.
It comes after an investigation by The Independent revealed insurance premiums had increased by 48 per cent in the past year, with some drivers forced to sell their cars as they struggled to afford their insurance payments.
And in our latest expose, we revealed how tens of thousands of drivers are increasing the excess on their policies or switching to third-party-only cover in a desperate bid to cut costs.
The data comes as police launch an annual road safety campaign this week aimed at cracking down on uninsured drivers.
Operation Drive Insured will raise awareness of the problem of those who flout the law, who are responsible for hitting a crash every 20 minutes.
The MIB reports at least one person every day, suffers injuries so severe as a result of being hit by an uninsured driver that they need life-long care as a result.
Someone who has felt the effects of this firsthand is Toni Wallace, a registered nurse who was serving as a medic at a festival when she was hit by an uninsured driver leaving her with serious injuries.
“I remember seeing pinpoint headlights in the distance. Then there was this massive explosion. When the dust settled, I realised I’d been hit head-on.
“When I got to the hospital, I realised I couldn’t feel anything from the waist down. I had lots of injuries including fractures and spinopelvic dissociation – I was told it was 50/50 as to whether I’d regain any function in my lower body.”
Ms Wallace said the accident changed her life. She added:“I hope Operation Drive Insured reminds people of the importance of being road safe and driving insured, so no one else has to face the same experience that I did.”
A spokesperson for MIB said: “Uninsured driving has a significant economic impact, with an average of £53 being added to everyone’s annual motor premiums to help compensate victims.
“Furthermore, MIB estimates all injuries caused by uninsured and hit-and-run drivers potentially costs the economy nearly £2.4 billion a year in emergency services, medical care, loss of productivity and human costs.”
“We work closely with the police who look at broader problems than simply uninsured driving and report secondary offences at a rate of 60 per cent, meaning it is often related to other criminal activity,” said MIB.
The worst areas for uninsured drivers outside of London are:
4. Manchester (M8 postcode, Cheetham Hill)
5. Birmingham (B11 postcode, Small Heath)
6. Birmingham (B18 postcode, Gib Heath, Winson Green, Hockley, and All Saints)
7. Birmingham (B6 postcode, Witton, Aston, Birchfield, New Town Row, and Aston New Town)
9. Manchester (M12 postcode Ardwick, West Gorton and Belle Vue)
13. Birmingham (B11 postcode, Sparkhill and Tyseley)