Hit and run car accidents are a serious problem in Florida. In 2016, there were over 99,000 hit and run crashes in Florida. That’s why it makes sense that the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) recognizes February as Hit and Run Awareness Month.
Staying at the scene is not only the law, but ensures that those impacted by a crash are safely assisted. Under Florida law, a driver must stop immediately at the scene of a crash on public or private property that results in injury or death. Leaving the scene of a crash is a felony and a driver, when convicted, will have their license revoked for at least three years and can be sentenced to a mandatory minimum of four years in prison.
“Leaving the scene of a traffic crash is a crime,” said Florida Highway Patrol Director, Colonel Gene Spaulding in the press release. “It is your responsibility to remain at the scene and immediately report the accident to law enforcement. You should do your best to provide immediate assistance to other motorists, passengers or pedestrians that may have been injured in the crash and wait for emergency first responders to arrive.”
Bicyclists and pedestrians have a great risk of being involved in a hit and run accident. More than 55 percent of the hit and run fatalities in 2016 were pedestrians. During that same period, 18 to 28 year olds received over one third of all hit and run charges issued, 70 percent of which were male.
“Leaving the scene of a crash is dangerous, and it can be deadly. Help our officers render aid and protect lives by making the responsible decision to remain at the scene and immediately contact first responders,” said Coconut Creek Police Chief Albert (Butch) Arenal, President of the Florida Police Chiefs Association. “Don’t make a bad situation even worse by leaving – it’s a felony.”
The most important thing a driver can do when they are involved in a crash is to Stay at the Scene and call for help. The Florida Highway Patrol reminds the public to report hit and run crashes by dialing *FHP (*347).
Drive safely and watch out for those who don’t.
Personal Injury Attorney Matthew Noyes represents those injured in car accidents, motorcycle crashes, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents and other types of personal injury matters. He is a named partner at the Tampa Bay law firm of Perenich Caulfield Avril Noyes – one of the oldest personal injury law firms in Pinellas County. Call Attorney Matthew Noyes now at 727-796-8282 or complete the form on this page or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.