Drivers are more likely to leave the scene of a motor vehicle accident after hitting a pedestrian when certain conditions are present. Understanding the risk factors is essential for pedestrians to stay safe. Unfortunately, even when a pedestrian is careful and does everything correctly, the pedestrian could be hit and killed by a motorist who fails to stop. These types of car accidents can be especially dangerous for pedestrians because there are significant risks when a car hits someone and does not stop to render aid.
Male drivers are more likely than female drivers to be involved in hit-and-run collisions which result in the death of pedestrians. This information, as well as other details about factors increasing the chances of a hit-and-run, comes from the Safe Transportation Research & Education Center at UC Berkley.
There are other driver-related factors increasing the likelihood of hit-and-run car accidents. A hit-and-run is more likely to happen in situations where a driver has a suspended license, or has had a suspended license in the past. If the driver suspects he has a blood-alcohol concentration above-the-limit, the driver is also more likely to leave the scene of a crash. The highest rate of hit-and-run accidents also happens when drivers are in vehicles that are more than five years old.
The age of a victim is a factor in the likelihood a driver will leave the scene of a crash. Drivers are significantly less likely to flee the scene of a collision if they hit a pedestrian who is a senior citizen or if they hit a pedestrian who is under 11. Only 13 percent of hit-and-runs resulting in the death of pedestrians involved victims within these demographic groups.
Urban areas like Washington DC are slightly more likely to be the location where hit and runs happen, although there was not enough of a difference to be statistically significant. A hit-and-run pedestrian accident is also more likely to occur if the pedestrian is not on a road or is not crossing the street at a crosswalk.
Hit-and-run collisions are especially dangerous for pedestrians, and the rate of hit-and-run pedestrian deaths increased even as the overall rate of pedestrian fatalities in car accidents declined.
Between 1998 and 2007, 18.1 percent of fatal pedestrian crashes involved a driver who fled the scene. Pedestrians are especially vulnerable to death in hit-and-runs because there is a likelihood they could be run over again when a driver leaves them on the side of the road. Pedestrians may also sustain very serious injuries and the delay in getting medical attention when a driver does not render aid also increases the likelihood the pedestrian will die of his injuries.