The Chicago area continues to experience an increase in hit-and-run accidents. Hit-and-runs occur when one or more of the drivers involved in collisions flee the scene before exchanging information or aiding injury victims. Leaving the scene may increase the severity of the outcomes of such accidents, delaying or denying vital medical care to those injured.
More Drivers Fleeing the Scene of Chicago Car Accidents
In recent years, the number of hit and run collisions occurring in Chicago and across the state has increased. According to a February 2019 Chicago Tribune report, the number of reported hit and run accidents rose nearly 6% in the previous five months as compared to the same five-month period the prior year. The trend in the Chicago area mimics that of similar trends in other cities across the U.S. Various causes may factor into this increase, many of which result from driver carelessness or negligence.
Possible Causes for the Increase in Hit-and-Runs
Numerous factors may contribute to the uptick in drivers fleeing accident scenes. Some of the most common of these may include the following:
- An increased number of cars on the road
- More pedestrians and bicyclists
- Environmental factors such as crash location, lighting, and roadway geometry
- Fear of consequences as law enforcement cracks down on distracted, drugged, or drunk driving
Unfortunately, drivers’ ability to get away may also factor into the rise in hit-and-run crashes. Many collisions where drivers flee the scene involve pedestrians or bicyclists. Often suffering no or less serious injuries and having faster transportation, at-fault drivers may choose to chance leaving the scene instead of staying to face the possible traffic or criminal consequences.
Next Steps After a Driver Flees a Crash Scene
Knowing what to do after another driver flees the scene of their accident may help people protect their rights and ability to recover compensation for their injury-associated losses. People involved in hit-and-runs may benefit by immediately filing accident reports with law enforcement and their insurance companies. Additionally, they may find it helpful to get as much information as they can about the other vehicle and accident. They should not, however, follow the other vehicle. They may take note of the other car’s make, model, color, and license plate number, if possible, as well as any damage the other vehicle may have sustained in the wreck.