Hit-and-Run crashes have been increasing in Florida according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FHSMV). An analysis of car accident data by FLHSMV revealed a troubling picture of hit-and-run crashes in Florida. The overall number of hit-and-run crashes in the state increased by more than 17% in 2021 compared to 2020. In the same comparison, hit-and-run fatalities increased by more than 18%, while serious bodily injuries increased by 20%. Seventy percent of the fatalities involved pedestrians or bicyclists.
The FLHSMV and the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) began a public awareness campaign called the “Stay at the Scene” program to help prevent these kinds of crashes, reduce fatalities and injuries, and help families affected by hit-and-run crashes.
“Hit-and-run crashes and fatalities are tragically on the rise in our state – causing devastation to Florida’s families and communities,” said FLHSMV Executive Director, Terry L. Rhodes. “Drivers who choose to flee after being involved in a crash that results in property damage, injury, or death are not just breaking the law – they are displaying a blatant disregard for the life and property of others. Please, stay at the scene and call for help – it could save a life.”
Hit-and-Run Crashes and Fatalities
According to the Homicide Investigation Tracking System (HITS), the Florida Highway Patrol handled 131 hit-and-run fatalities in 2021, up from 124 in 2020, with 91 still active. These investigations are continuing, with varying degrees of leads and charges pending. The FLHSMV’s Active Hit-and-Run Cases webpage contains information regarding open hit-and-run cases.
“If you are involved in a traffic crash, it’s not only the right thing to do, but it’s your responsibility to remain at the scene and immediately contact law enforcement,” said Florida Highway Patrol Director, Colonel Gene Spaulding. “With hit-and-run crashes on the rise, we need the public’s assistance in solving these cases and bringing justice to families who have lost a loved one, been injured, or had property damaged because someone left the scene in violation of Florida law.”
Some states are considering enacting laws similar to recent legislation in California establishing a Yellow Alert system for fatal hit-and-run accidents, comparable to the Amber Alert system for missing children. If authorities obtain a complete or partial license plate number and vehicle description, it can be flashed on highway message signs in the region and distributed to the media.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Talk to an Orlando car accident attorney at the Martinez Manglardi personal injury law firm. Call 866-730-3508 for a free consultation. Convenient locations throughout Central Florida.