Hit-and-run accidents are often characterized by several distinct elements. Common characteristics include the accident having very few witnesses and or poor lighting, as the driver is more likely to believe there will not be repercussions for their behavior. If there are many witnesses or the scene is highly visible, people are less likely to flee the scene of a crash. Similarly, drivers are much more likely to flee the scene of an accident between the hours of midnight and 4:00 a.m., than between 8:00 a.m. and 11:59 a.m. This is due to a host of reasons, but one explanation is that nighttime drivers generally engage in more risky behavior.
What Is a Hit and Run Accident?
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety defines hit-and-run accidents as collisions in which at least one person involved in the crash departs the scene of the crash before offering any (or sufficient) information or aid to the other involved person(s) or fails to properly report the crash. Hit-and-run accidents are a major issue for many reasons, but in particular, they can increase the severity of outcomes given delays or the complete absence of medical attention for the victims. As of 2017, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has found that both the rate and fatality levels of hit-and-run collisions are on the rise. There were an estimated 737,100 hit-and-run crashes in 2015. This translates to a hit-and-run crash happening somewhere in the U.S. every 43 seconds. The 2,049 fatalities that resulted from hit-and-run crashes in 2016 were the highest number recorded up to that point.
A recent article described how a serious hit-and-run accident occurred early on the morning of Sunday, September 25. Around 4:00 a.m., a man was riding a Lime motorized scooter on the way home on 14th Street Southwest when the incident occurred. A witness told law enforcement officials that she was right behind the driver when she saw the car hit the scooter near 14th Street and Jefferson Drive Southwest. The witness said that the driver did not stop when the collision occurred, and instead, kept driving toward Virginia. After seeing the crash and realizing the driver was not stopping, the witness followed the car that hit the scooter and took down the license number. She then called the police. That night, first responders from D.C. Fire and EMS took the man to a local hospital. The scooter rider is now recovering in the ICU. The driver has not been located and the hit-and-run is now being investigated by the D.C. police.