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November 08, 2010 05:59 PM

Uninsured Drivers

SIOUX FALLS, SD


The biggest road hazard you might face this winter won't be the weather. Instead, it might be an uninsured driver.
The rough economy is driving people to drop their insurance coverage and if you are ever involved in an accident with an uninsured driver, good luck getting a settlement. 

Beware when you're driving South Dakota's highways. Officials estimate for every 100 cars you pass, seven carry no insurance.

Dayna Christensen found that out the hard way when she literally got a crash course in the subject.

"I was sitting at a stop light and it turned green so I had just turned the corner and this guy pulled out and plowed right into the front end of my car," Christensen said.

The man who hit Christensen didn't have insurance.

"He got out of the car and he's like, 'Don't call the cops,' and I was like, 'Great,'" Christensen said.

But Christensen's story is not all that uncommon. Last year, authorities picked up over 8,000 uninsured drivers and *that was just in Minnehaha County.

Because the driver who hit Christensen didn't have insurance, she had to pay her deductible, $2,500 out of her own pocket. And getting him to pay was a long drawn out process.

"It was such an inconvenience because we didn't hear from him for like six months," Christensen said.

Christensen eventually got her money, two and a half years later, but she drives away knowing, it's a headache she shouldn't have had to deal with in the first place.

"I think there's a lot more uninsured drivers out there than we realize," Christensen said.

South Dakota estimates seven percent of all drivers are uninsured. Minnesota and Iowa estimate 12 percent of their drivers have no insurance.
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