Are Hit-and-Run Accidents on the Rise in the U.S.?Unfortunately, the short answer to that question is, yes! Hit-and-run accidents and even fatalities are on the rise nationally, especially in major metropolitan areas. The problem has become so prolific some in law enforcement are calling it a “plague.”
What Does the Crash Data Statistics Indicate?The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gathers crash data and the following list shows that the number of fatal hit-and-run crashes is rocketing upwards:
- In 2009, there were a reported 1,274 hit-and-run deaths
- In 2010, there were a reported 1,393 hit-and-run deaths
- In 2011, there were a reported 1,449 hit-and-run deaths
- There was nearly a 14% increase in hit-and-run deaths over that three-year period from 2009 to 2011
- One-in-five of all pedestrian fatalities are hit and runs
- 60% of hit-and-run fatality victims are pedestrians
“The problem is bigger than I think most people are aware,” said President and CEO of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety Peter Kissinger.
Why Do People Hit-and-Run?Alcohol obviously doesn’t help the situation, because now the driver has a two-pronged problem:
- They are facing a DUI.
- Now, they are facing assault with a vehicle, which in many states is felony.
“People find themselves in these situations, and what do you do?” said Sara Solnick, chairwoman of the Department of Economics at the University of Vermont in a November 10, 2013 USA Today article. “Drivers are more likely to run if they feel there is a reason to do so. They’re more likely to have high blood-alcohol content, or they’re driving without a license, or they’re very young drivers.”