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Why are there so many hit-and-run accidents in New York City?

On any given day throughout New York City, the streets and sidewalks are teaming with cars, trucks, taxis, bicyclists and pedestrians. At times, the scene can appear chaotic and even downright dangerous as motorists speed, run red lights and fail to yield the right-of-way to other motor vehicles and pedestrians alike.

February 29 proved to be a particularly dangerous day to be a pedestrian in New York City as an article in The New York Times reported on the injuries of two and deaths of three pedestrians who were struck by motor vehicles. What makes these injuries and deaths even more tragic is that all were the result of hit-and-runs.

 

Currently, drivers who are involved in and flee the scene of an accident are subject to a $500 fine. In cases where a hit-and-run accident involves a fatality, the driver will be charged with a felony and can face fines of up to $10,000. Given the stiff penalties associated with hit-and-run accidents, some may question why so many drivers in New York City continue to flee the scenes of traffic accidents.

2015 statistics on hit-and-run accidents provide some insight. For example, as of early December 2015, the New York City Police Department reported a total of 38,000 hit-and-run accidents for the year, 4,000 of which resulted in victims suffering injuries including 31 fatalities.

However, of the 4,000 hit-and-runs that involved injuries and deaths, only 48, or less than one percent, were actually investigated by the NYPD and just 28 arrests were made. These abysmal statistics are believed to factor heavily into why the city continues to be plagued by high numbers of hit-and-run accidents as many drivers likely don’t believe they’ll ever be caught.

In cases where an individual suffers injuries or a family member is killed in a hit-and-run accident, it’s wise to seek the advice and assistance of an attorney. Often, compensation for expenses related to property and physical injuries can be recovered from the victim’s own car insurance company. An attorney who has experience dealing with insurance companies can advocate on an individual’s or family’s behalf and work to recover just compensation.

Source: CBS New York, “Critics Demand Stronger Enforcement After String Of Weekend Hit-And-Runs In NYC,” Feb. 29, 2016

DNA Info., “NYPD Investigated 1 Percent of Hit and Run Crashes With Injuries or Deaths,” Jeff Mays, Dec. 2, 2015

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