AAA: Hit-and-Run Deaths Hit Record High

HIT-AND-RUN CRASH B-ROLL

AURORA, Ill. (April 26, 2018)- More than one hit-and-run crash occurs every minute on U.S. roads, according to new research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. These crashes resulted in 2,049 deaths in 2016 - the highest number on record and a 60 percent increase since 2009. With the number of hit-and-run crashes on the rise, AAA is calling for drivers to be alert on the road in order to avoid a deadly crash and always remain on the scene if a crash occurs.
 
AAA researchers examined common characteristics of hit-and-run crashes and found that: “Hit-and-run crashes in the United States are trending in the wrong direction,” said Dr. David Yang, executive director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. “Our analysis shows that hit-and-run crashes are a growing traffic safety challenge and the AAA Foundation would like to work with all stakeholders to help curtail this problem.”
 
The report found that most victims of fatal hit-and-run crashes are pedestrians or bicyclists. 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 in that same time period. To decrease the chances of being involved in a crash with a pedestrian or bicyclist, drivers should: “It is every driver’s legal and moral responsibility to take necessary precautions to avoid hitting a pedestrian, bicyclist or another vehicle,” said Beth Mosher, director of public affairs for AAA Chicago. “While no one likes being involved in a crash, leaving the scene will significantly increase the penalties for drivers- whether they caused the crash or not.”
 
Currently, every state has laws that make it illegal for a driver involved in a crash to flee the scene. State penalties vary depending on the type of crash (i.e. property damage, injury, serious injury or a fatality). If found guilty, drivers can face large fines, lose their license or spend time in prison. AAA encourages drivers to educate themselves about specific hit-and-run laws in their state and remain alert on the road to prevent crashes from occurring.
 
If a driver is involved in a crash, they should never leave the scene and follow the steps below:
  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.
 
“By working together, we can bring awareness and identify potential solutions to reduce hit-and-run fatalities,” continued Mosher. “We can’t forget that cars can be deadly when they come into contact with pedestrians, cyclists or other cars. It is incumbent on each and every one of us to stay alert, be aware of our surroundings and always stay on the scene if involved in a crash.”
 
About AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety: Established in 1947 by AAA, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety is a not-for-profit, publicly funded, 501(c)(3) charitable research and educational organization. The AAA Foundation’s mission is to prevent traffic deaths and injuries by conducting research into their causes and by educating the public about strategies to prevent crashes and reduce injuries when they do occur. This research is used to develop educational materials for drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists and other road users. Visit www.AAAFoundation.org.
 
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