Hit-and-run accidents are often characterized by certain specific factors. Common characteristics include the crash having few witnesses and or poor lighting. If there are many witnesses or the scene is highly visible, people are less likely to flee the scene of a crash. Relatedly, people are much more likely to flee a crash between the hours of midnight and 4:00 am, than between 8:00 am and 11:59 am. This is due to a host of reasons, but one explanation is that nighttime drivers generally engage in more risky behavior. A recent article described a hit-and-run accident involving a truck and a motorcycle.
The recent article described how a fatal hit-and-run collision unfolded on Thursday, July 13. Around 1:30 pm, Secret Service agents stopped the driver of the vehicle at the corner of 17th Street NW and Constitution Avenue over an alleged expired registration. According to the Secret Service, the unidentified driver allegedly signaled he would slow down and pull over, but just before he stopped, he sped up. After speeding up, the driver allegedly crossed through a red traffic signal light and struck two people before driving away from the scene. The victims were a 75-year-old man from Philadelphia and a 13-year-old girl according to the U.S. Park Police. The 75-year-old man was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital while the 13-year-old girl was treated at the scene and released.
What is the Definition of 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 flees the scene 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 a number of 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 (NHTSA, 2016). 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.