Although it is against the law to flee the scene of an accident, there are many individuals who do, which sometimes results in them leaving behind a victim who may be suffering from a physical injury. In some cases, these victims succumb to the injuries they sustained simply because there was no one around to render aid or call for help. And yet while drivers are aware that it is illegal to engage in a hit and run accident and that these incidents could potentially cause someone to lose their life, many choose to flee the scene of a crash they caused rather than stay.
The AAA Foundation highlighted that in 2015, there were an estimated 737,100 hit and run crashes that occurred and it seems as though these types of accidents are only increasing in number. In 2016, 2,049 individuals were killed in hit and run crashes, which is “the highest number ever recorded.” So why are so many hit and run accidents being reported and what factors contribute to them occurring? Apparently, there are a number of factors that play a role in causing hit and run crashes to transpire which we are sharing with you below that will hopefully help you avoid placing yourself in certain situations that could potentially lead to one of these accidents occurring.
- Environmental Factors
The AAA Foundation highlighted that certain environmental factors such as “lighting, roadway geometry and the location of where the crash [occurred] have [all] been shown to be associated with the likelihood of hit-and-run crashes.” When the source references lighting, it is referring to the time of day. For instance, research has found that between the hours of midnight and 4:00 a.m., the chances of a hit and run accident occurring involving a single vehicle and a pedestrian were 4.4 times more likely to occur than between 8:00 a.m. and 11:59 a.m. When daylight is approaching or the sun is already up, the likelihood of a hit and run accident involving a pedestrian is less likely to occur.
The source went on to highlight that “the increase seen at night is thought to be because lower visibility increases the chance of escape.” If a driver feels they can avoid being blamed for a wreck, especially one that has caused serious damage, they might actually take the risk and leave knowing there was a slim chance that someone saw them with such minimal light.
- Some drivers may not be aware that they were required to stop.
The AAA Exchange also highlighted that when an accident occurs that only involves property damage, a driver might choose to flee the scene because they weren’t aware that they should have stopped and reported the collision. The reality is, whether you caused an accident with a parked vehicle or one that was being driven by someone that resulted in property damage, you must stop to assess the damage before pulling away.
- The motivation to avoid a criminal charge
Although some accidents are a mere fender bender that will only require the drivers involved to exchange insurance information, others are much more serious especially if one of the drivers was engaging in illegal behavior. For example, if a drunk driver crashed into another motorist, they know that when the police arrive, they will likely go to jail and have a DUI charge filed against them. The reality is, many don’t want to take that risk of being sent to jail which is why they choose to flee instead.
Now, if you or someone you know was involved in a hit and run accident in Alburquerque, it is important that you report the collision to police immediately, seek medical attention, and then when you can, contact Albuquerque, NM car accident attorney Brian K. Branch. Because the individual who hit you chose not to stick around, it can make filing a claim against them much more difficult. While police are able to track down some of the hit and run drivers who cause these unfortunate accidents, other times, they get away with the crime. However, despite whether officials are able to identify who hit you or not, our office is available to help you recover the compensation you need and deserve from all possible sources.
Therefore, we encourage you to contact us today to schedule an initial consultation so that we can determine what your case might be worth and the forms of action that need to be taken so that you are awarded the maximum amount of compensation for the injuries you sustained.
You can reach the Law Office of Brian K. Branch at:
715 Marquette Avenue NW
Albuquerque, NM 87102