Fatal hit and run crashes involving passenger vehicles are more common than ever, according to a study conducted by AAA. The study found that 2,049 people were killed in hit-and-run incidents in 2016 – a huge 62 percent jump from 2009. The results make 2016 the deadliest year on record for hit and run crashes since the NHTSA first began recording motor vehicle crash statistics in 1975. The majority of fatal hit-and-run victims were pedestrians or cyclists. Additionally, 20 percent of all pedestrian deaths over the last decade were the result of a hit-and-run accident.
“Hit-and-run crashes in the United States are trending in the wrong direction,” Dr. David Yang, executive director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, said in a statement. “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.”
The study also found that an average 682,000 hit and run crashes gas occurred in the United States each year since 2006. States where hit-and-run crashes are the most common include New Mexico, Louisiana and Florida, while New Hampshire, Maine and Minnesota have the lowest rates of such incidents.
It is illegal to flee the scene of an accident in all 50 American states.