If you have an accident and it’s found that you’d failed to keep your car roadworthy, for example excessively worn tyres, and that was a contributory factor in the accident, your insurer will probably refuse to pay up. And the police may also show an interest too! Quite reasonable many of you will say. But what if it’s you that’s un-roadworthy?
How many driving accidents are accompanied by the comment “I didn’t see the other vehicle”? And what happens if the problem was your eyesight? Has it deteriorated to a dangerous extent?
Well all of us clearly know if we have an eyesight problem but there are opticians to help on every high street. Remember, if you need contact lenses or glasses for driving then you must wear them and if your eyesight deteriorates you should get a new prescription. It’s the legal responsibility of all drivers to ensure that they’re safe to drive.
Only last week I drew up alongside an elderly driver who was clearly having trouble reading the junction signs. He was leaning forward trying to read the signs indicating towards Leeds and rolling forward at 10 mph – all this at traffic lights that by this time had turned red – and he clearly hadn’t seen those! He was lucky that the cars coming across from the right saw him early. I’m not even sure he saw them either!
The law is quite straightforward – it states that any driving licence holder who cannot meet the minimum level of eyesight must not drive. They are also required to surrender their licence.
The eyesight test for drivers’ states that you must be able to read a number plate containing letters and figures 50 mm wide and 79mm high (that’s a legal number plate) from a distance of 20 meters. But you can use your driving glasses.
Having said that there’s no legal obligation for you to have regular eyesight tests but you are required to tell the DVLA if you develop any medical problem that affects your fitness to drive. If you don’t tell them, it’s a criminal offence.
In some American states drivers have to take an eye test every five years but not in the UK. Here, driver aged 70 and over must complete a medical form every three years confirming their fitness to drive and the definition of “fitness” includes eyesight. If theses drivers fail to send in their medical form, they lose their driving license. (I wonder what that elderly gentleman at the traffic lights said on his?)
On the insurance front, if you are involved in an accident where your defective eyesight was a contributory factor, your insurance company may well argue that you were negligent and refuse to pay out. This could be simply because you needed glasses to drive but weren’t wearing them at the time.
So drive carefully, and keep your eyes peeled – elderly gentleman in Leeds please take note!
Auto insurance quotes. Involved In An Accident With An Uninsured Driver?
car, insurance, uninsured, drivers
Uninsured drivers are ten times more likely to drink and drive and three times more likely to be convicted of driving without due care and attention. They also cause one accident every six months. In fact one in twenty motorists regularly drive without insurance. It’s therefore not perhaps surprising that, one in ten of all motorists have been involved in accidents with uninsured drivers. The question is what to do if you’re involved in an accident with one?
At the time of the accident you’re unlikely to realize that the other driver is uninsured so you’ll have to react in the normal way. Take a note of the other car’s make, model and registration number. Also note the other driver’s name and address – but whether he’ll give you his correct details is perhaps unlikely! Nevertheless, always record what the other driver says. Unless you have this information you’ll have no leg to stand on when it comes to getting some of your money back.
Also take notes about the damage to the other car and the accident scene. Remember to note road markings, road signs, light and weather conditions and whether the other car had its lights on – in fact as much detail as possible. Then if you’re lucky enough to have an independent witness get their full contact details. And if you happen to have a camera in the car, take lots of pictures – and try and get one with the other driver clearly in the picture. The police might like that one!
If your policy is comprehensive, your insurer pay for your car to be repaired but you could lose your no claims discount unless you’ve paid to protect it. But then there’s the issue of your excess payment – that’s the first part of the repair cost you have to pay for. You’ll have to pay that unless you’re lucky enough to have a policy that waives the excess payment if you’re hit by an uninsured driver.
For those of you with third party auto insurance quotes, you’re in for a hard time. Your insurer won’t pay for your repairs and, as the other driver is uninsured, you’re not going to get any money off him unless you can trace him and succeed in a court action. Even then there’s no guarantee that he’ll pay up! Your only guaranteed solution is to make a compensation claim to the Motor Insurers’ Bureau – but you’ll still have to pay the first £300 of the claim.
The Motor Insurers’ Bureau insists that have the other drivers’ car registration number and you must first report the accident to the police. Always ask the police for a copy of their accident report as the Bureau’s likely to ask to see it. The Bureau’s telephone number is 01908 671681 or you can e-mail them on email@example.com.
At the moment The UK’ Law is being amended to crackdown on uninsured drivers. Not before time. Anyone keeping, not just driving, an uninsured vehicle now faces a fixed £100 fine and can also have their car seized and crushed. Currently the average fine for driving without insurance is just £170 and that’s hardly a punishment when auto insurance quotes costs many times more. Losing the car plus a fine of £100 is much more realistic. Let’s hope that the courts fully implement the crushing sanction!
A police spokesman said recently, “ Uninsured drivers are often guilty of many other driving related offences, such as having no driving license or MOT certificate. We’re doing everything in our power to get these dangerous and illegal drivers off our roads”.
We say, go to it blues and two’s!
Auto insurance quotes. It’s Getting Increasingly Expensive When You’re Elderly.
car, insurance, elderly
There were 550 serious accidents last year where the driver was over aged 70 and where driver was either killed or badly hurt, reports the Institute of Advanced Motoring . That statistic represents 8% of the national total of 7,035 similar accidents. That means that the over 70’s’s have more, very serious accidents per mile than any other sector of the population. This view is supported by the Association of British Insurers whose research shows that drivers aged over 70 are 13% more likely claim on their insurance than the drivers aged between 40 and 50.
As the number of elderly drivers will double during the next ten years, this represents a problem for elderly drivers and their families – not to mention the insurance industry, police and indeed all of the emergency services!
You can probably predict the response from the insurance industry. Many insurance companies already reckon that drivers over 80 are as high a risk as the under 25’s – and charge premiums to match! Some are even progressively loading premiums once the driver reaches 60. Then at 70, you’ll find that many insurance simply refuse to offer cover. Norwich Union and Esure won’t quote after 70 and by the time the driver reaches 80, the field narrows to specialised insurers who insure elderly drivers. Help the Aged and Age Concern both market policies that have no upper maximum age. Cornhill only accepts new policyholders up to 84 but if you’ve been insured by them for a few years, there’s no upper age limit. RIAS and Saga are also pleased to consider older drivers.
As the price of auto insurance quotes is based on historical claims experience, a 75 year old male driver can expect to pay at least 33% more than if he were aged 50. By the time the driver reaches 80 the premiums hit boy racer levels! So if you’re in your early 50’s keep smiling at the lowest premiums you’ll ever experience – they won’t last forever!
And the fairer sex fare even worse. Whilst younger women are renowned for their safe driving, they become more accident-prone as they get older. Whereas male drivers improve with age. (Where have we heard that before!) As a result, elderly women drivers pay the highest rates for auto insurance quotes.
It’s a biological fact that eyesight and reaction times worsen as age creeps on. And with traffic becoming heavier and road networks ever more complex, elderly drivers can more easily become disorientated and confused. Even a fraction of a second’s delay can make the difference between an accident and a near miss. Insurers are reacting by insisting that more elderly drivers take a medical before agreeing to provide insurance. The best advice is to build up a no claims record and as soon as possible and buy No Claims Protection. This protection cost a bit more but it’s well worth the money. Then make sure you pay for any small bumps yourself.
But there are some simple steps that older drivers, and indeed all drivers, can take to reduce the likelihood of them having an accident and thereby making themselves more insurable. It’s often more about those little things and being alert to likely problems. For example, car parks are a breeding ground for small accidents. Knowing that take more care. Before you get back into your car, walk round it to see how much room you’ve got. Then edge out carefully making sure that other drivers in the car park aren’t driving into the area you’re moving into. Then, if advancing years has stiffened you neck and all-round visibility is a bit more difficult, take special care at junctions and when reversing. Remember to move you head and swivel your shoulders – that way you’ll increase your sweep of vision.
Many of the policies for older motorists contain special provisions designed to assist them. On Saga’s policy for example, ex company car drivers can use any no claims record they’d built up and if a couple are insured and the main driver decides to quit driving, then the spouse can take over the no claims record. Other policies also provide full insurance cover for anyone who takes over driving in an emergency. Cornhill will even payout £250 if the DVLA stops you from driving for health isues associated with age.
In moves to diminish the numbers of accidents involving the elderly, the UK Government is investigating the issue of deteriorating health amongst elderly drivers. It seems to be considering the idea of obligatory health checks for elderly motorists. At the same time some local councils are introducing initiatives of their own. Torbay council has launched a scheme to encourage families and GP’s to take more responsibility for encouraging elderly drivers who are not really fit drive, to give up. A road safety spokesperson for Torbay council said, ”The problem is that the elderly can’t always see themselves when it’s really time to give up driving so those closest to them must take responsibility for that.”
In the meantime, a survey carried out by the Institute of Advanced Motorists confirms that older motorists are aware that they represent an increased accident risk. Seven out of ten older drivers surveyed said they would like to take a refresher course for motorway driving skills and six out of ten wanted to improve their performance at junctions and on unlit roads. In response to these issues, the Institute has extended its advanced tests to older non-members to encourage them to improve and build up confidence. The tests also help spot any serious problems that should encourage the driver pack up driving.