According to an April 2018 AAA report, the number of people killed in hit and run accidents is higher than ever, and that about two-thirds of the people killed were bike riders or pedestrians. There were more than half a million hit and run accidents across the nation in 2016, and over 2,000 people died in these crashes.
Why There Are More Deaths of Cyclists and Walkers
Safety experts suggest that the increased numbers of bicyclists and pedestrians killed on the roads today is due to these factors:
- The American economy has improved, leading to more people driving motor vehicles.
- Many of those drivers operate their cars while distracted by such things as cell phones, mobile devices, navigation systems, and other handheld or built-in electronic gadgets. Some drivers claim that their distraction levels were so high that they did not notice hitting a walker or bicyclist or running a bike rider off the road.
- Some pedestrians and bicyclists walk and ride around with their eyes on their cell phones or other devices and step or ride into the path of oncoming traffic without looking.
- Too many streets lack sidewalks or bike lanes. As American cities expanded into sprawling suburbs, road design focused on the fastest way to move lots of vehicles from Point A to Point B, with little, if any, thought about pedestrian or bike rider safety.
- Cities across the country are encouraging people commute on foot or on two wheels, to improve their health, save money, and cut down on air pollution and traffic congestion. As a result, more pedestrians and bicyclists are trying to share the road space with motorists.
Options to Reduce Hit and Run Wrecks
Safety experts urge the police to be tougher on the enforcement of laws that ban drivers from using cell phones and other hand-held devices while operating motor vehicles, to reduce their distractions and prevent them from hitting walkers and bike riders.
The League of American Bicyclists says that more traffic cameras would help law enforcement find and catch people who flee the scene of accidents.
Tips for Avoiding a Collision with a Car
Hit and run wrecks account for one out of five pedestrian deaths, but only one out of 100 driver fatalities. While drivers should be paying close attention to avoid a collision, you are the only person who can ensure your safety. Here are a few tips to avoid a collision with a vehicle:
- Always be aware of your surroundings. Do not listen to music or text while walking.
- Do not walk while intoxicated.
- Walk against traffic, that way you can see the cars coming toward you and avoid a collision if need be.
The ABCs of What to Do After a Crash
AAA offers these easy-to-remember tips for what you should do if you are involved in a wreck:
A – Assist the injured: Ensure no one involved in the collision was injured.
B – Be visible: Many people survive the initial accident, only to get hurt or killed by other vehicles who did not notice the wreck in time to stop. Do your best to safely get out of harm’s way and help those who need assistance.
C – Communicate: Notify the police. Request that the officer make an accident report.
While all of these apply in a hit and run collision, we have a few tips to add to ensure your safety:
- While you are likely angry after being hit and then left, do not go after the hit and run driver.
- Try to remember everything you can about the vehicle (e.g., make, model, color, license plate number, the direction the driver was heading, etc.) Tell all this information to the police when they arrive on the scene.
If you sustained injuries in a hit and run accident, contact a personal injury attorney at the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, PC today to set up your free consultation: 404-474-0804.