Florida Hit-And-Run Accidents Wreak Havoc On Roads Statewide
Hit-and-run crashes in Florida among highest in US, according to new data
Hit-and-run accidents can be some of the most frustrating and complicated car accidents. They’re also very common in Florida, according to recent statistics, which ranks Florida third nationwide for the most hit-and-run accidents by state, according to the Sarasota Herald Tribune.
“We have an issue with people not taking responsibility,” Trooper Kenn Watson, a Florida Highway Patrol spokesman, said in an October 2019 interview with the newspaper. “There are a plethora of people who leave the scene of a crash.”
In 2018, there were 103,011 hit-and-run accidents statewide in Florida, according to data compiled by Florida Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles (FHSMV). While the statistics for 2019 still need to be verified, FHSMV’s initial data for 2019 indicates the problem is only getting worse. Last year, there were 105,283 hit-and-run accidents, an increase of 2.2 percent or 2,272 hit-and-run accidents.
Why are hit-and-run accidents so common in Florida?
It’s difficult say exactly why hit-and-run accidents are so common in Florida. One reason why so many drivers may flee the scene of an accident is because Florida has another serious problem – uninsured drivers.
Nationwide, Florida has the highest percentage of uninsured motorists compared to any other state, according to statistics compiled by the Insurance Information Institute based on 2015 figures nationwide.
Specifically, 26.7 percent of Florida drivers do not have insurance coverage, even though drivers are required by law to have car insurance in Florida. The second-worst state nationwide for uninsured drivers is Mississippi, which has 23.7 percent of drivers without insurance. In contrast, the nationwide average for uninsured drivers is 13 percent.
Why do drivers flee the scene of a hit-and-run accident?
So, why would a driver flee the scene of a hit-and-run accident in Florida? The reasons why include:
- No insurance
- Driving without a driver’s license
- Driving with an expired driver’s license
- Committing a crime at the time of the accident
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Wanted on an outstanding arrest warrant
These are just a small sampling of some of the most common reasons why drivers leave the scene of a hit-and-run accident. Each crash is different and requires its own, in-depth investigation.
What should I do if I’m injured in a hit-and-run accident in Florida?
If you or a loved one have been involved in a hit-and-run accident, take the following steps after your crash:
- Call the police immediately and tell them you have been involved in a hit-and-run accident.
- If someone saw your hit-and-run accident, get the witness’ full name, address and phone number so they can be contacted later.
- Take pictures of your car and the accident scene.
- Write down as much as you can remember about the car and driver who hit you, including:
- Color of vehicle
- Type of vehicle
- Driver’s gender or other identifying details
- Write down other important details about your hit-and-run accident, including:
- Time of accident
- Direction vehicle was heading
- Weather conditions
- Whether any traffic signals were malfunctioning
- Seek medical attention as soon as possible. Even if you feel fine, you could have a serious, life-threatening internal injury.
- Contact an attorney right away. The sooner you talk to a lawyer, the more you can learn about your legal rights.