CHARLOTTE, N.C. (July 24, 2018) – Last year in North Carolina, there were 56 recorded hit-and-run crashes, according to the NCDOT.
Recent research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety revealed nearly 65 percent of people killed in hit-and-run crashes were bicyclists or pedestrians.
“We just had a bicyclist killed after being involved in a hit and run crash over the weekend in Union County,” said Tiffany Wright, President of the AAA Carolinas Foundation for Traffic Safety. “While we don’t know all of the details of the deadly collision, it shouldn’t take a tragedy to remind motorists to never flee a scene when involved in a crash.”
Nationally, more than one hit-and-run crash occurs every minute on U.S. roads, according to AAA. These crashes resulted in 2,049 deaths in 2016 – the highest number on record and a 60 percent increase since 2009.
To decrease the chances of being involvd in a crash with a bicyclist or pedestrian, drivers should:
- 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.
Currently, every state has laws that make it illegal for a driver involved in a crash to flee the scene.
If a driver is involved in a crash, they should follow the steps below:
- Assist the injured– Check for injured people and call 911.
- Be visible– Make sure that the scene is visible to approaching drivers. If possible, move vehicles out of the path of traffic, and use hazard flashers, flares, and reflective triangles. Find a safe place to remain until emergency services arrive, if needed.
- Communicate– Call the police and file a report. If the police do not come to the scene, you can file a report by visiting a local police department or your automobile insurance agency.