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AAA: Hit-and-run car crashes are on the rise

While the law is not always easy to understand, it can be very clear at times. For example, Georgia law is crystal-clear on this point: after a driver has been involved in a motor vehicle crash, he or she must stop or return to the scene. If a wreck involves injuries, it is even more important for drivers to obey the law and stop.

Automobile service AAA says that its new research indicates that more than one hit-and-run collision takes place every minute of every day in the U.S. More than 2,000 people involved in hit-and-runs in 2016 died – a dramatic 60 percent increase in fatalities since 2009.

The study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that hit-and-run accidents contains many interesting findings, including the following:

  • There has been an average of 682,000 hit-and-run wrecks per year since 2006
  • Nearly two-thirds of those killed in the crashes were pedestrians or bicyclists
  • Hit-and-run fatalities are growing at 7.2 percent per year since 2009

Researchers also found that the highest rates of hit-and-run fatalities are in New Mexico, Louisiana and Florida. The lowest rates are in New Hampshire, Maine and Minnesota.

The study also found that over the past decade, almost 20 percent of all pedestrian fatalities were in hit-and-run crashes.

“It is every driver’s legal and moral responsibility to take necessary precautions to avoid hitting a pedestrian, bicyclist or another vehicle,” said the director of state relations for AAA. She added that no one wants to be in a car crash, but that when a driver leaves the scene it “will significantly increase the penalties for drivers – whether they caused the crash or not.”

If you have been injured in a crash, speak with an experienced personal injury attorney about your legal options before talking to an insurance company or accepting their first offer.

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