A previous post on this blog talked about the special issues that victims of hit-and-run accidents, or their surviving family members, may face in the aftermath of the collision. Among other things, this post talked about what one's options might be if the responsible driver is never found.
Unfortunately, not being able to locate the responsible driver following a hit-and-run is a common phenomenon. According to one report, only an average of one percent of hit-and-run drivers actually get tracked down and held accountable by police.
Although in crowded cities like Kansas City there are more likely to be witnesses who can identify a hit-and-run driver, the chances of finding the driver are still relatively low, even despite the best efforts of law enforcement. Even in the case of a fatal accident, only about one in three drivers get apprehended.
Sadly, the number of hit-and-run fatalities overall has been steadily increasing at least since 2009. The last year statistics were available, 2016, there were 2,046 fatalities due to hit-and-runs across the country, whereas in 2012, that number was 1,512. In other words, the number of fatalities increased by 35 percent. Since 2009, the number has increased by 60 percent.
Interestingly, those in the know are having a hard time explaining this traffic safety epidemic, as it seems that no one factor can be blamed for the spike in fatalities. Some have blamed distracted driving, while others simply think that the increase is a function of cars and pedestrians frequenting the same crowded urban areas more often.
In any event, residents of the greater Kansas City area more than ever may find themselves needing legal support in the event of a hit-and-run auto accident.