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Why are so many pedestrian accidents hit-and-runs?

On Behalf of | Feb 16, 2022 | Firm News

Hearing about reckless or careless drivers on the news is scary, but then seeing it during a daily commute to work or when trying go for a walk in the neighborhood is a completely different experience. It seems that not only are the number of car wrecks on the rise, but so is the rate of pedestrian fatalities in Kentucky and elsewhere.

According to a report by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), not only did pedestrian deaths go up dramatically from 2009 to 2019, but they have since continued an upward trend. When factoring in vehicle miles traveled, the pedestrian fatality rate went up by 21% from 2019 to 2020.

Some factors for this rise appear to be reckless driving patterns, poor visibility of pedestrians in crosswalks and more SUVs on the road, which are responsible for a higher incidence of serious or fatal injuries to pedestrians. Unfortunately, when a driver makes the decision to flee the scene after a terrible accident rather than provide lifesaving help to the victim, it adds insult to injury.

What causes drivers to flee the scene of an accident?

A high number of pedestrian accidents occur when the motorist was intoxicated. Alcohol consumption tends to affect judgement and remove inhibitions, leading the individual to make impulsive decisions, especially if they fear getting caught. They may be more likely to leave the scene to avoid drunk driving charges or any pending criminal charges.

Most hit-and-run crashes happen when pedestrians are the victims, with the driver leaving the scene in nearly 20% of all accidents resulting in pedestrian deaths. Most hit-and-runs happen at night, where there are often fewer witnesses and poor lighting. Having said this, drivers are also motivated to flee because they are afraid the victim will later identify them.

How do I track down a hit-and-run driver?

Only about half of all hit-and-run drivers are eventually caught, but it more likely to find them if the injured party brings criminal charges. Law enforcement can then treat the accident as a crime and open an investigation to:

  • Identify witnesses
  • Seek information
  • Search for identification

Calling witnesses to provide testimony or cell phone video, identify the driver, or recall the make and model of the vehicle or the license plate number, can be very helpful in the investigation.

Pedestrian injuries are often serious, requiring extended medical treatment and rehabilitation and resulting in lost wages and pain and suffering. For residents of Somerset and surrounding areas, the priority will be to discover the most effective and fastest way to receive just compensation for your injuries.