Hit And Run Accidents Are On The Rise
There are few things worse than being someone who is hit by a car, whether you are in a vehicle, or whether you are a pedestrian. But one thing that can make the situation worse, is when the other driver speeds away, sometimes, never to be found.
What is a Hit and Run?
Hit and run accidents can be devastating; aside from the accident and injury, there is the fact that there often may be nobody to sue, given the other driver often cannot be found. The victim, especially a pedestrian, is rarely in any position to help police ID the hit and run driver.
Not all hit and runs involve cars just speeding off after an accident; in some cases, a liable driver may actually stop, and may even interact with the victim or others at the accident site, but then drive away before police arrive.
Hit and runs can happen to anybody – motorcyclists, pedestrian, or bike riders, and most statistics on hit and run accidents lump all of these together. Hit and runs are crimes in almost every state–but after driving away, the liable driver goes from just having civil problems to potentially having a criminal law problem, and in some cases, if and when the driver is found, an arrest and jail time may be the next step.
Hit and Runs are On the Rise
Hit and runs are sadly very common. The American Automobile Association (AAA) found hit and runs comprise 12% of all accidents, and there are so many of them, that one happens about every 45 seconds. Like so many accidents, hit and run accidents are also on the rise every year, by about a 7% yearly increase.
How and Where
You may be surprised to hear that most hit and runs happen at lower speeds. That includes places like curved roads, or overpasses.
That tells us a few things–the first is that if you are a pedestrian or bicyclist on a small side or neighborhood road, you are actually in more danger of being a hit and run victim; never assume because a road is small or speeds are slow, that you are safe.
Of course, those statistics may be skewed somewhat; at higher speeds it may be easier for cars to just drive off, never to be found again. And, there is no way to know how many drivers may hit someone and never know it, especially when hitting a cyclist or pedestrian, where, at higher speeds, the driver may not hear or feel any impact.
Insurance for an Unknown Driver
You can buy insurance that can help you get compensated for a hit and run accident, called uninsured motorist coverage. That coverage will “pretend” it is the hit and run driver, and pay you up to the limits of the policy for damages caused by the hit and run driver, in the event that driver can never be found.
This can avoid the problem of having nobody to sue, and nobody to compensate you for your injuries, after a hit and run accident.