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Increasing number of hit-and-run accidents a growing concern

For people in Fulton County, heading out on the road has inherent dangers. While accidents can happen at any time, drivers are at least accorded some semblance of protection by being in a vehicle. For those who are pedestrians or on a bicycle, their vulnerability leaves them in danger of serious injury and even death.

Accidents are bad enough, but if the accident involves a driver trying to escape, it's even worse. A hit-and-run accident isn't only dangerous to the lives and health of those involved; the decision to flee the scene is a criminal act. Unfortunately, in some of these accidents, there is a child involved.

The number of hit-and-run accidents is increasing across the country as are the number of fatalities that happen because of them. Studies by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) showed that the number of deaths from hit-and-run accidents rose from 1,274 in 2009 to 1,449 in 2011. On the other hand, the overall number of people who died in traffic-related accidents decreased by 4.5 percent.

Studies have shown that approximately 20 percent of fatal crashes involving pedestrians are hit-and-runs. Often, people choose to run when they believe they are at risk of harsh penalties for the accident. This happens frequently when a driver has been drinking or using illegal substances. Younger drivers also tend to act impetuously and run away, hoping that the problem will just go away. Running only serves to make matters worse and increase the penalties the driver will face when they're caught.

Knowing the statistics of the number of these types of accidents and their rising prevalence is one thing, having to experience it and deal with the aftermath is still another. Understanding how to move forward in seeking compensation after a hit-and-run incident can help with treatment and recovery.

Source: USA Today, "Fatal hit-and-run crashes on rise in U.S.," Larry Copeland, accessed on Aug. 25, 2014

Source: USA Today, "Fatal hit-and-run crashes on rise in U.S.," Larry Copeland, accessed on Aug. 25, 2014

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