New research shows the number of deadly hit-and-run crashes in the United States is increasing dramatically.
More than one hit-and-run crash happens somewhere in the U.S. every minute, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. AAA said the 2,049 deaths from hit-and-run crashes in 2016 were the highest number ever recorded, and a 60 percent increase since 2009.
The study found an average of 682,000 hit-and-run crashes happened each year since 2006. Nearly 65 percent of people killed in those crashes were pedestrians or bicyclists.
“It is every driver’s legal and moral responsibility to take necessary precautions to avoid hitting a pedestrian, bicyclist or another vehicle,” said Jennifer Ryan, director of state relations for AAA. “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.”
To decrease the chances of being involved in a crash with a pedestrian or bicyclist, drivers should: Be aware: Pedestrians may act unpredictably and can walk into the path of travel at any point. Be cautious: Look out for small children and be alert to areas where there are likely to be more pedestrians. These include school zones, playgrounds, bus stops and intersections. Be patient: When trying to pass a pedestrian or cyclist, give plenty of space and keep them in your line of sight. Be vigilant: Drivers should always yield to pedestrians, even if they walk into the road from an area other than a crosswalk.Copyright 2018 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.