A new report from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reveals a shocking fact: More than one hit-and-run accident happens every minute on roads in the United States. These accidents caused 2,049 fatalities in 2016. This was the most on record and was a 60% increase in seven years.
With so many hit-and-run crashes happening in the U.S. and Georgia, AAA warns drivers to be more alert as they are on the road to avoid a fatal accident. Also, the organization notes, drivers are required by state law to stay at the scene if there is a crash.
AAA researchers focused on common aspects of hit-and-run accidents. Here is what they found:
- Approximately 682,000 hit-and-run accidents have happened every year in the last 12 years.
- Almost 65% of people who died in hit-and-run accidents were bikers or pedestrians.
- Hit-and-run fatalities have risen by 7.2% every year since 2009.
- New Mexico, Louisiana and Florida have the most fatal hit-and-run accidents per capita, while New Hampshire, Maine and Minnesota have the lowest number of accidents.
AAA also advised that to avoid being in a hit-and-run accident, drivers should adhere to these rules:
- Stay aware. Pedestrians can act in unpredictable ways and can walk into the road you are traveling on at any time.
- Use caution. Be aware of small children near roads at all times, and be more alert in areas where you are more likely to drive near pedestrians.
- Use patience. If you want to pass a biker or pedestrian, give the person a lot of space, and always keep them in sight.
- Use vigilance. You should always yield to a pedestrian, even if they do something inappropriate, such as walk into the road where there is no crosswalk. Even if the pedestrian is partially at fault, there can still be serious consequences for the driver if the accident results in death.
In Georgia specifically, there also has been an increase in the number of deadly accidents involving bikers and pedestrians. Some of these were hit-and-run accidents; the state ranked No. 4 in the U.S. in 2016 for the most fatal hit-and-run crashes.
The Georgia Department of Transportation reported in 2018 there were 111 pedestrians killed by midyear. This was an increase of 16% from the year before. In 2017, 260 pedestrians died in car accidents.
Fulton and DeKalb counties were tops in the state for the most deadly crashes with pedestrians, according to the Department of Transportation.
Drivers in Georgia should always remember to drive with caution to avoid accidents with pedestrians. If you are in an accident, no matter how minor or serious, you always must stay at the scene of the accident. If you hit and kill a pedestrian and flee the scene, there can be grave criminal and civil consequences. On the civil side, you can be hit with a wrongful death lawsuit that could cost you millions of dollars. Plus, you face the possibility of years in prison.
Did You Lose a Loved One In a Hit-and-Run Accident? Contact Us.
Were you or your loved one injured or killed in a car accident hit-and-run? The Mann Law Firm possesses many years of proven experience helping Middle Georgia residents who have lost loved ones in car and hit-and-run accidents. If your loved one was killed in a car accident, you also could be entitled to financial compensation in a wrongful death lawsuit. Please contact us for a free consultation today.