Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Hit-and-run crashes at a record high, and a lot involved pedestrians, bicyclists

In the United States there’s a hit-and-run crash every minute.

Between 2009 and 2016 the number of deaths associated with a hit-and-run crash increased by 60-percent, and according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, 2016 was a record year for hit-and-run deaths with 2,049.

“Hit-and-run crashes in the United States are trending in the wrong direction,” said David Yang, executive director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. “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.”

Annually, since 2006 there have been an average of 682,000 hit-and-run crashes. About 65 percent of them have involved pedestrians or bicyclists. Overall, 20-percent of pedestrian deaths involved a hit-and-run driver.

“It is every driver’s legal and moral responsibility to take necessary precautions to avoid hitting a pedestrian, bicyclist or another vehicle,” said Georjeane Blumling, vice president of Public Affairs for AAA Tidewater Virginia. “While no one likes being involved in a crash, leaving the scene will significantly increase the penalties for drivers – whether they caused the crash or not.”

In Virginia and every other state it’s against the law to leave the scene of an crash.

AAA offered drivers the following tips in avoiding pedestrians:

  • Be aware: Pedestrians may act unpredictably and can walk into the path of travel at any point.
  • Be cautious: Look out for small children and be alert to areas where there are likely to be more pedestrians. These include school zones, playgrounds, bus stops and intersections.
  • Be patient: When trying to pass a pedestrian or cyclist, give plenty of space and keep them in your line of sight.
  • Be vigilant: Drivers should always yield to pedestrians, even if they walk into the road from an area other than a crosswalk.

Likewise, drivers involved in crashes should check others for injuries and call 911, while making sure flashers are on or warning signs are posted to alert other drivers.

John Mangalonzohttp://wydaily.com
John Mangalonzo (john@localdailymedia.com) is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.

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