The numbers are alarming. No matter if it is a vehicle hitting another vehicle, a pedestrian or cyclist, and then driving away, hit-and-run occurrences are increasing across the board.
On The Rise
There are over 680,000 hit-and-run crashes each year. This average has gone up considerably in the last 30 years. This number also means a hit-and-run accident happens every minute in the United States. And unfortunately, deaths, as a result of hit and run, have also climbed. In fact the increase was 60% from 2009.
Florida and California have some of the highest numbers of incidents. Oklahoma is not one of the states with higher numbers. However, there are reasons behind the numbers. One reason for the increase in accidents is increase in population. The percentage of these being hit and run is also due to various reasons, including not having or not having enough auto insurance. With Oklahoma being a state with one of the highest numbers of uninsured drivers, hit-and-run accidents could climb.
Did You Know?
Hitting a car, pedestrian, or cyclist while in traffic, then driving away, is a hit and run. But did you know hitting a parked car and driving away is also a hit and run? And leaving a note may not be enough. It is suggested that when you hit another car that is parked, you wait for the owner for at least 15 minutes, then try to locate the owner. When both have failed, you may then leave a note for the owner.
Protection And Procedure
Not only should you protect yourself if you hit a parked car, you should protect yourself when you are a victim of a hit and run.
Your first protection is the proper insurance. Speak with your provider about supplemental insurance that will help cushion the financial burden if you are hit by someone who drives away.
If you or your vehicle are hit by someone who drives away, ask witnesses for their help in documenting the event.
Also use technology by recording everything from damage to location of the accident. Many businesses and intersections now have cameras, so ask for the footage. It is true, many of these drivers are never identified, but some states are moving to Amber Alert style warnings that will help decrease those that get away.
Finally, many drivers that have been involved in a hit-and-run accident are impaired/distracted. Keep a safe distance from observed vehicles that display erratic behavior.