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Published on October 15th, 2014 | by Personal Rights

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Hit and Run Traffic Violations — What Every Driver Needs To Know

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It’s an unfortunate fact of U.S. traffic trends, but hit and run car accidents occur quite often. While many of these cases happen because the guilty driver simply doesn’t want to take responsibility for his/her actions and maliciously leaves the crime scene, some hit and run accidents happen because drivers simply don’t understand hit and run laws.

What Is a Hit and Run Car Accident?

As defined by DMV.org, a hit and run violation occurs when someone driving a vehicle is involved in an accident (usually, the driver is to blame for the accident) and leaves the scene without providing contact information. Technically, a driver can be guilty of a hit and run offense even if he/she stops at the scene and talks with the other people involved, but fails to provide any sort of reliable contact information which would allow the victim to collect damages. The American Automobile Association actually estimates that hit and run offenses account for 11% of all car accidents, and one out of every five crashes that result in a fatality are hit and run cases.

The two most common cases of hit and run car accidents are 1) a driver hitting a moving car and speeding away without talking to the victim; and 2) a driver hitting a parked car, whose owner isn’t present, and failing to provide contact info.

Why Do Hit and Run Accidents Happen So Often?

Although it’s impossible to know for sure why drivers choose to leave an accident, there are two reasons that seem to be most prevalent: one is that the driver was under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, and knows that the punishment for causing a serious accident while under the influence will be severe; another reason is that the driver does not have a legal license, and will face harsh penalties (including deportation, if the driver is an illegal immigrant).

What Are the Consequences?

In recent years, state governments have started increasing hit and run consequences in an attempt to deter drivers from fleeing the scene. It’s illegal in every state for a driver to leave the scene of a car accident, but it’s usually considered to be the secondary crime, with primary traffic offenses being reckless driving or DUI.

With all of this being said, it’s still possible that misunderstandings and mistakes could happen following a car accident, and a driver can end up with a hit and run ticket without realizing that he/she did anything wrong. But when it comes to hit and run car accidents, the consequences here should never be underestimated. Read more.


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