In most states, any driver involved in an accident with another vehicle is required by law to move quickly to a safe location and then park, if the vehicles involved can. They should also then check on the health and safety of everyone who was in the vehicles as well as anyone else nearby who may have been injured in the crash. But what happens when the person who causes the accident flees the scene without helping or even contacting the emergency services?
Our blog explores the legal implications of hit-and-run accidents at intersections and some of the reasons why people choose to flee the scene after causing an accident.
Why Would A Driver Leave The Scene After A Hit-and-run?
Firstly, let’s explore some of the reasons people have admitted to when found guilty of causing a hit-and-run accident. It’s important to mention if a person leaves the scene to find a phone or emergency medical services and then returns, they will be given leeway from a legal perspective. However, when someone leaves the scene of an accident they’ve caused or been involved in, it’s taken seriously and can even be labeled as a misdemeanor or a felony, with punishment being a hefty fine all the way up to incarceration.
There are many reasons why a driver wouldn’t stick around to survey the damage
- They don’t have a valid driver’s license.
- Driving with a suspended license
- Too many tickets already
- Has an outstanding warrant for their arrest.
- Intoxicated or on drugs.
- Doesn’t have car insurance.
- May not have permission to drive the car
- Could be driving a stolen vehicle.
- Might be driving a company car and don’t want to get in trouble with their employer.
Whilst these shouldn’t be used as an excuse for fleeing the scene, it’s understandable from a legal perspective why the perpetrator wouldn’t hang around at the scene. If you’re involved in a hit-and-run at an intersection it’s important to remember not to try to chase after the driver, even if you think you can catch them! And if you’re a witness, don’t try to chase them either- the police are far more experienced in handling these types of cases and should be involved instead.
Hit and runs at intersections
In the US, accidents at intersections make up a shocking 40% of all accidents each year, with rear-end accidents most likely to happen at the intersection. There are many reasons why these accidents happen and most commonly it’s drivers in a hurry, not wanting to stop at the junction, or being too distracted and not realizing the vehicle in front has stopped. Hit and runs are rather frustrating accidents as the police have to start up an investigation often without evidence to start on. With the introduction of dashcams and CCTV at the intersections, the country has started to tackle these common auto accidents but there’s still a long way to go to reduce hit-and-runs at intersections.