Hit-and-Runs: an Epidemic on the Rise
A quick Internet search for “hit and run accident” will result in an abundance of these car calamities that occurred across the country in the last 24 hours—many of them with tragic, fatal results. Hit-and-runs are on the rise in America, and Los Angeles is their capitol.
“Hit-and-run crashes in the United States are trending in the wrong direction,” said Dr. David Yang, executive director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, via the AAA NewsRoom. “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,” he continued.
Each year since 2009, hit-and-run deaths rose an average of 7%, and more than 2,000 deaths were reported in 2016 alone. According to researchers at AAA, that number is a 60% increase since 2009.
The numbers suggest that we have a crisis on our hands: an increasing number of Americans are being killed in hit-and-run vehicle accidents. In Los Angeles, you’ll see about one hit-and-run every 18 minutes! But why?
To find a reasonable answer to this question, it’s important to begin with another question: What has significantly changed in the habits of American drivers since 2009? In fact, you could go so far as to ask what has changed in the lives of Americans in that time. If you are an American driver, take a look in the mirror and ask yourself that question. How have you changed since 2009?
As you look in the mirror, you may notice something that would be foreign to someone born in the early part of the 20th century. It’s that clever instrument in your pocket, or perhaps in your hand—maybe instead of looking in a proper mirror, you’re looking at it right now. It’s your smartphone.
In the last decade, smartphone use has become an essential part of our daily lives, even in the car. So often we catch ourselves driving alone and can’t seem to break the tether to that sleek tool sitting next to us. “Just a quick text,” we might think, or “what time is that movie?” or “what’s that address again?” We’re driving and we’re distracted, and sometimes this has grievous results.
Many people, particularly young people, when involved in an accident caused by their distracted driving, will panic. Perhaps they are unsure what to do, don’t know what just happened, or are frightened of getting in serious legal trouble. And so, they drive off, and the hit-and-run statistics rise. What they should know is that leaving the scene of an accident that causes injury to someone is illegal. If someone flees the scene of a collision, they face not only insurance claims but criminal charges for hit-and-run as well.
If you’ve been involved in a hit-and-run accident in Los Angeles, it’s important that you seek legal help IMMEDIATELY. The Los Angeles Daily News reports that only 8% of hit-and-runs were solved in 2017. The sooner you get an experienced LA car accident lawyer on your side, the better. At Novik & Stanley, A Professional Law Corporation, we’ve helped hundreds of injury victims get the justice they deserve.
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