Fatal hit and run car accidents increased by over 18% in 2020 according to a recent report from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.
The vast majority of deaths from hit and run car accidents occur at night or during low-light hours. According to an FLHSMV analysis, 85% of all hit-and-run fatalities from 2015 to 2020 occurred during dawn, dusk, or nighttime conditions. This is why it is so important that all drivers look twice for pedestrians and bicyclists. Of the 254 hit-and-run fatalities in 2020, 137 were pedestrians and 25 were bicyclists. To further prevent these types of crashes from occurring, pedestrians and bicyclists have to do their part by making sure they are as visible as possible with proper lights and reflectors.
Florida law requires all drivers to stop immediately at the scene of a crash on public or private property that results in property damage, 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. Remember, a driver who flees the scene at a hit and run accident is not only breaking the law but could also be leaving someone to die who needs immediate medical care.
Some important steps to follow if you are involved in a car accident include:
- Make sure you are okay and remain calm.
- If possible, move to the side of the road. Remove your keys if you get out of your vehicle and stand out of the roadway in a safe area.
- Check on others involved. Call 911 if anyone might be injured or a vehicle is inoperable.
- If there are no injuries or major property damage, gather information including the name, driver license, insurance, and tag information from the other driver(s). Take photos of the vehicles and information if you can’t write it down.
- Most importantly, stay calm and always stay at the scene. Leaving the scene of a crash will only make matters worse. Staying at the scene will not only spare a driver significant legal penalties but may also save a life.
Because of the number of hit and run car accidents in Florida, it is important that you and your family carry uninsured motorist coverage on your car insurance. Should you or a family member be injured in a hit and run car accident, you uninsured motorist coverage will help pay your medical bills and lost wages and other damages caused by the accident.
Drive safely and watch out for those who don’t and always stay at the scene of the car accident!
Attorneys Matthew Noyes and Lorrie Robinson help families who are impacted by a Tampa Bay car accident. Attorney Matthew Noyes even wrote a book on it – Do You Really Need An Attorney After a Car Accident. If you have questions after a car accident, call Personal Injury Attorney Matthew Noyes at 727-796-8282 or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.