AAA reports hit-and-run deaths reach record high

Posted by Sharon Bowles on Jun 18, 2018 9:47:27 PM

In legal marketing

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety recently reported that hit-and-run accidents and deaths have reached record highs. According to their study, there were 2,049 deaths in 2016, the highest number ever, representing a 60% increase since 2009.

In studying the characteristics of hit-and-run accidents, AAA identified the most common among them.

  • An average of 682,000 hit-and-run crashes occurred each year since 2006.
  • Nearly 65 percent of people killed in hit-and-run crashes were pedestrians or bicyclists.
  • Hit-and-run deaths in the U.S. have increased an average of 7.2 percent each year since 2009.
  • Per capita, New Mexico, Louisiana and Florida have the highest rate of fatal hit-and-run crashes while New Hampshire, Maine and Minnesota have the lowest rates.

Dr. David Yang, Executive Director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety said, “Hit-and-run crashes in the United States are trending in the wrong direction. Our analysis shows that hit-and-run crashes are a growing traffic safety challenge and the AAA Foundation would like to work with [everyone] to help curtail this problem.”

If you are a pedestrian or bicyclist, you run the greatest risk of being involved in a hit-and-run crash. Over the past 10 years, nearly 20 percent of all pedestrian deaths were caused by hit-and-run crashes; meanwhile just one percent of all driver fatalities occurred in that same time period. To decrease the chances of being involved in a crash with a pedestrian or bicyclist, AAA recommends that drivers should:

  • Be aware: Pedestrians may act unpredictably and can walk into the path of travel at any point.
  • Be cautious: Look out for small children and be alert to areas where there are likely to be more pedestrians. These include school zones, playgrounds, bus stops and intersections.
  • Be patient: When trying to pass a pedestrian or cyclist, give plenty of space and keep them in your line of sight.
  • Be vigilant: Drivers should always yield to pedestrians, even if they walk into the road from an area other than a crosswalk.

It is illegal in every state for a driver to leave the scene of an accident. Penalties depend upon the severity of the crash (property damage, serious injury, fatality). Those found guilty of a hit-and-run charge can face fines, lose their license, or be sentenced to jail.

AAA cites the following, if you a driver involved in a crash.

  1. Assist the injured– Check for injured people and call 911.
  2. Be visible– Make sure that the scene is visible to approaching drivers. If possible, move vehicles out of the path of traffic, and use hazard flashers, flares, and reflective triangles. Find a safe place to remain until emergency services arrive, if needed.
  3. Communicate– Call the police and file a report. If the police do not come to the scene, you can file a report by visiting a local police department or your automobile insurance agency.

Source: AAA Newsroom

Group Matrix Blog – June 5, 2018 – by Sharon Bowles