The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reports that nearly 1,500 people are killed each year due to hit-and-run car accidents. This number is significantly dangerous for pedestrians, who often account for a large portion of hit and run collisions. In fact, the same report shows us that 6 in 10 fatally injured victims of such accidents are pedestrians. Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that a staggering amount of pedestrians – more than 150,000 – were treated in emergency rooms for non-fatal crash-related injuries over the course of a single year. This sad evidence makes it clear that cars strike pedestrians, and they strike them very often.
Pedestrian Accident Causes and Risk Factors
There are multiple causes for life-altering hit-and-run accidents. Some incidences that involve car-to-car collision are deliberate fraud schemes, leaving victims to fend for themselves while the offender attempts to pull an insurance scam, while most pedestrian hit-and-runs are due to risky or illegal driving behaviors, such as speeding or driving while intoxicated. No matter what kind of hit-and-run you are involved in, the result is always devastating.
The CDC tells us that children, older adults, and pedestrians who are alcohol-impaired are more likely to be struck by a vehicle. Alcohol is clearly a significant contributing factor, as nearly 50 percent of all drivers and pedestrians involved in any kind of fatal accident are found to be intoxicated at the time of collision. Additionally, location seems to play a role in pedestrian accidents. Most pedestrian fatalities usually occur at night, in urban areas, not at intersections.
Protecting Yourself from Hit and Run
The Houston police department has provided a number of tips to help pedestrians avoid hit-and-run situations, as well as some reminders for what to do, should you be involved in one:
- Do not always assume vehicles will stop for you – Try and make eye contact with them as they approach, and always look before you step.
- Avoid wearing headphones and talking on your cell phone – Anything that may distract you from crossing the street places you at risk for being struck. Stay alert as you move from street to street.
- Obey traffic signals and remain observant – Anytime you need to cross the road, avoid the temptation to ignore crosswalks. Be patient and obey any surrounding traffic signals, and remain observant of the cars passing by. Should you be involved in a hit and run accident, it can be helpful later on if you are able to recall the make, model, and color of the car that left the scene, as well as any descriptive details of the driver.
- Prepare for litigation – The Texas police department reminds drivers that when someone flees the scene of the accident, the investigation of your case will take time. You will be provided with instructions for pursuing criminal charges, but the process to settle your insurance claim or provide compensation for car damages may be delayed due to the investigation. In the meantime, it is important you acquire proper legal representation for any injuries you incurred.
If someone hits you and flees the scene, they face felony crime charges, and you may be eligible for a significant amount of compensation for your pain and suffering. The moment you are injured, it is imperative you speak with a competent New Braunfels hit-and-run car accident attorney to protect your rights. Call the Bettersworth Law Firm at 830-443-9193 to get started.