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Hit-and-run accidents involving pedestrians increasing

On behalf of Terence Gross of Gross & Schuster, P.A. posted in Car Accidents on Thursday, November 14, 2013.

 In our last post, we highlighted the dangers that come about for pedestrians when daylight savings time ends. Essentially, a number of pedestrians and bicyclists (particularly children) find themselves walking in the dark when they had become so accustomed to doing so when the sun is out after 5:00 p.m.

It comes as no surprise that a recent report indicating that fatal hit-and-run accidents are on the rise. According to a recent USA Today report, fatal hit-and-runs have increased by 13 percent from 2009 to 2011. The numbers come from crash data analyzed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In some major metropolitan areas, the problem of one person (commonly the offending driver) leaving the accident scene has risen to “epidemic” proportions.

There are a number of theories behind this trend, but some analysts believe that the lack of auto insurance may be the primary reason why drivers flee an accident scene. Some believe that drivers are afraid of being implicated in other criminal matters that are not obvious (i.e. matters that can be found by processing a driver’s license).

However, alcohol use is far and away a glaring problem when it comes to car-pedestrian accidents. Drunk drivers have less of a chance to make split-second moves to avoid pedestrians, and people who are drunk while on foot may misjudge the speed and distance of cars while stepping into the street.

Despite the problems involving alcohol, injured pedestrians generally have a right to recover compensation from offending drivers after an accident. Of course, every case is different, but it is worth talking with an experienced personal injury attorney to learn about one’s rights and options.

Source: USA, “Fatal hit-and-run crashes on the rise in U.S.” Larry Copeland, November 10, 2013

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