In 2016, 2,049 people were killed in hit-and-run crashes, according to a recent study released by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. This is a 62 percent increase from 2009, the last year that a downward trend was recorded.
The new study found that 65 percent of victims of hit-and-run collisions were people biking and walking. Almost 20 percent of collisions between cars and people walking over the last decade were hit-and-run crashes.
The study also found that hit-and-run crashes involving people walking are most likely to take place between midnight and 4 a.m., when drivers are more likely to get away unseen, on roads with lower speed limits, where people are most likely to cross; and in areas with heavy foot traffic.
We can all work together to prevent these tragedies from occurring. Some tips from AAA include always being aware of your surroundings, yielding to people crossing the street even if they’re not in designated crosswalks and giving people on bikes “plenty” of space when passing them on the road.
Should drivers get involved in a crash with a someone biking or walking, AAA State Relations Director Jennifer Ryan said they should stay on the scene because the penalties for fleeing are “significantly” more severe, regardless of who is at fault.
“It is every driver’s legal and moral responsibility to take necessary precautions to avoid hitting a pedestrian, bicyclist or another vehicle,” Ryan added.
You can read the full story from ABC News by clicking here.