According to a new study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, hit-and-run accident deaths have reached an all-time high. Other drivers, passengers, bicyclists and pedestrians are losing their lives at an alarming rate due to drivers who are not remaining at the scene of the accident.
If you have lost a loved one in a hit-and-run accident, the Harrisburg car accident attorneys at Schmidt Kramer will help your family fight for justice. Contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation today.
AAA Study Findings
Hit-and-run accidents occur when at least one person involved in the collision flees the accident scene before giving aid or sufficient information to other parties, or does not report the crash. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has found that the rate of fatalities from hit-and-run accidents has increased at an average of 7.2 percent annually since 2009. A large increase in accidents involving bicyclists and pedestrians have contributed to the rising numbers.
The AAA Foundation based its findings on data collected from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), which details all vehicle accidents that take place on public roadways and cause a death within 30 days of the collision. AAA also utilized existing data on hit-and-run accidents to examine victim characteristics, crash scene factors and hit-and-run driver descriptions.
Hit-and-Run Accident Statistics
2016 was the deadliest year for hit-and-run accidents since the NHTSA first began recording statistics on vehicle fatalities in 1975. The NHTSA reports some sobering statistics, including the following:
- 2,049 people were killed in hit-and-run accidents in 2016 as the result of 1,980 collisions. This is an increase of 62 percent since 2009.
- One or more hit-and-run accidents take place every minute somewhere in the U.S. These accidents occur at a rate of one every 43 seconds.
- 65 percent of victims in fatal hit-and-run accidents were pedestrians and cyclists. Nearly 20 percent of all pedestrians who were killed in the past 10 years were victims of hit-and-run accidents – but only one percent of driver fatalities were caused by hit-and-run crashes.
- One in five pedestrian deaths over the past 30 years involved hit-and-run accidents.
- 1,398 hit-and-run accidents in 2016 involved bicyclists and pedestrians.
- The states with the highest hit-and-run fatality rates are Florida, New Mexico and Louisiana; states with the lowest rates are Minnesota, Maine and New Hampshire.
- States with larger populations tend to have a higher percentage of deadly hit-and-run accidents.
- Hit-and-run accidents injuring or killing pedestrians are more likely to take place between midnight and 4 a.m. Suspects are more likely to escape without being seen during this time.
- Hit-and-run accidents happen more often in areas where pedestrians are likely to cross the roadway, roads with lower speed limits, and places that have higher rates of foot traffic.
- Victim age is shown to relate to identification rates of hit-and-run drivers. Drivers are identified 60 percent of the time in cases where the victim is between six and 15 years old; drivers are only identified 39 percent of the time when victims are aged 31 to 55.
How to Avoid Hit-and-Run Accidents
Always stay at the accident scene if you are ever involved in an accident – do not attempt to flee the scene of the crash. Drivers face severe penalties for leaving the scene of an accident, regardless of who is found to be at fault for the collision.
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety offers critical advice to drivers for avoiding accidents:
- Always be aware of your surroundings.
- Always yield to pedestrians who are crossing the road, even if they are not crossing in designated crosswalks.
- Leave ample space when passing cyclists on the road.
Contact an Experienced Attorney
If someone you love was killed in a hit-and-run crash, the Harrisburg car accident attorneys of Schmidt Kramer are here to help your family through this difficult time. Our legal team will evaluate your case and fight to hold negligent drivers accountable for the suffering they have caused.
Request a free, no-obligation consultation today and learn about the legal options available after a hit-and-run accident. There are no upfront fees when working with our firm. We are only paid if we recover compensation for you.