AAA is calling on drivers to be more alert, and cyclists and pedestrians to be more aware on the roadways as the number of fatal hit-and-runs spiked to an all-time high.
More than one hit-and-run crash occurs every minute on U.S. roads, according to research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. Those incidents resulted in 2,049 deaths last year – the highest number on record and a 60 percent increase since 2009.
“Hit-and-run crashes in the United States are trending in the wrong direction,” David Yang, executive director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety stated. “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 states that the majority of the victims - 65 percent - involved in fatal hit-and-runs are pedestrians or bicyclists and an average of 682,000 such crashes have been reported annually since 2006. Fatal hit-and-run crashes have also increased 7.2 percent each year since 2009.
“It is every driver’s legal and moral responsibility to take necessary precautions to avoid hitting a pedestrian, bicyclist or another vehicle,” Jennifer Ryan, director of state relations for AAA said. “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.”
“By working together, we can bring awareness and identify potential solutions to reduce hit-and-run fatalities,” Yang added. “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.”
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