Budget cuts increase the potential for more uninsured Ohio drivers

Changes to Ohio's Random Selection Program could lead to financially hamstrung car accident victims. Drivers need to know how to protect their health and finances.

Being involved in an auto accident with an Ohio or Kentucky driver is bad enough, but an unfortunate encounter with an uninsured motorist severely complicates matters. Budget cuts in Ohio could result in an increase in uninsured drivers. WKRC Local 12 breaks down the change to Ohio's Random Selection Program and how it impacts both insured and uninsured motorists across the state.

Insurance data, the Random Selection Program and the Ohio Senate decision

In 2015, the latest data from the Ohio Insurance Institute revealed that roughly 12% of Ohio's 10 million drivers do not have insurance coverage. The state's Random Selection Program was originally conceived in 1998. Every week, the program randomly chose 5,400 Ohio drivers to provide proof of car insurance. Those who did not have coverage were subject to such penalties as license impoundment and license suspension.

In 2019, program funding ended as the result of a decision by the Ohio Senate. "The random insurance program is best carried out on the highways and not by the U.S. Postal Service," said Ohio Senate Republican spokesman John Fortney.

Potential fallout

With the elimination of the Random Selection Program, there is a very real possibility that the state may see an uptick in uninsured drivers. Should one of those drivers be at-fault in an auto accident, injured parties will be on the financial hook for not only their own injuries, but also someone else's negligence. A single auto accident can result in lost wages, extensive and expensive medical treatment and rehabilitation, pain and suffering, amputation, and potentially permanent disabilities or disfigurement.

Preventative measures

Insured Ohio drivers have options for protecting themselves against motorists who do not have coverage. Most insurance carriers offer uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. This policy add-on offers financial peace of mind should a policyholder ever become involved in an accident with an at-fault driver who either has no car insurance at all or does not have enough coverage to take care of the cost of damages. Despite this extra layer of protection, underinsured and uninsured coverage still has its limits. Injured parties may have to work with an attorney to recover both physically and financially from an accident with an uninsured driver.

Responsible drivers in Ohio and Kentucky who maintain their insurance should not have to suffer from the negligence of those who drive without insurance. Auto accident victims deserve to know and protect their rights with the help of an experienced legal advocate.

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