Sadly, automobile deaths are all too common, and many of them involve hit-and-runs. What is a hit-and-run? A hit-and-run accident is defined as an act in which someone causes a traffic accident and then leaves the scene. These types of accidents often carry steep penalties, especially if a fatality is involved.
Hit-and-run deaths have reached an all-time high. How many hit-and-run accidents occur each year? The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has found that more than 680,000 hit-and-run crashes happen every year. And in 2016, there were 2,049 hit-and-run fatalities in the United States.
The SmartAdvocate research team analyzed data from the U.S. Department of Transportation to determine which counties in the country had the most hit-and-run fatalities.
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Which Counties Have the Most Fatal Hit-and-Runs?
The following are the ten counties with the most fatal hit-and-run accidents per 100,000 people between 2014-18 in U.S. counties with more than 50,000 residents:
- McKinley County, NM: 22.419
- St. Louis City, MO: 19.296
- Putnam County, FL: 12.077
- Hoke County, NC: 10.863
- Orange County, TX: 10.792
- Orleans Parish, LA: 10.765
- Terrebonne Parish, LA: 9.958
- Humboldt County, CA: 9.590
- Hinds County, MS: 8.627
- Wayne County, MI: 8.517
McKinley County, NM, tops the list with 22.419 fatal hit-and-run accidents per 100,000 people. Between 2014 and 2018, there were 16 hit-and-run fatalities in the county that includes Gallup, Black Rock, and Navajo. St. Louis City, an independent city in Missouri, comes in a close second with 29.296 fatal hit-and-runs per 100,000. There were 58 fatalities involving a hit-and-run accident here between 2014 and 2018.
These are the ten counties with the highest numbers of fatal hit-and-runs between 2014 and 2018:
- Los Angeles County, CA: 473
- Harris County, TX: 258
- Maricopa County, AZ: 216
- Cook County, IL: 168
- Wayne County, MI: 149
- Dallas County, TX: 141
- Miami-Dade County, FL: 140
- San Bernardino County, CA: 129
- San Diego County, CA: 119
- Clark County, NV: 100
Seeing as these counties include many of the country’s most populous cities, including Los Angeles, Houston, and Phoenix, it’s not surprising that they rank highly on the list.
What to Do if You’re Involved in a Hit-and-Run
Being involved in a car accident is a shocking experience, and most drivers aren’t anticipating that the other driver will leave the scene. Wondering what to do in a hit-and-run accident? Follow these tips:
- Call 911 if someone is injured.
- Get as much information about the car and driver as you can, like the license plate number, the vehicle’s make, model, and color, and the direction the car was traveling. Also take note of any potential witnesses. It may help to write this information down while it is still fresh in your mind.
- Call the police and make a report right away.
- Take photos of your car and the scene of the accident.
- Contact your insurance company to start the claims process.
- If you are injured in the accident, you may want to contact a car accident attorney who can help you receive compensation for medical bills.
While being involved in a hit-and-run accident can be a traumatizing experience, taking the proper steps after the accident can ensure that you are not liable for damages and that the driver is brought to justice.