According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, a quarter of all Florida car accidents involve a hit-and-run. Unfortunately, fleeing the scene of an accident can result in what would have been a traffic citation escalating into criminal charges. If the accident involved solely property damage and no one was injured, the offense is a second-degree misdemeanor. This carries a possibility of 60 days in jail and a $500 fine. If there are injuries are involved, the charge becomes a second- or third-degree felony. This is punishable by up to five years in prison. If the hit-and-run involves a fatality, it is a first-degree felony, punishable by a mandatory four years minimum in prison.
WFLA reports that Tampa Bay has seen thousands of hit-and-run accidents so far in 2019.
A report that has been updated and released from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles paints a clear picture of how many hit-and-run crashes there have been.
Manatee County has seen more than 600 accidents in which a driver fled the scene. Hillsborough County has had more than five times that number of hit-and-run accidents, at 3,339 hit-and-run crashes. Pinellas and Polk Counties have seen thousands of hit-and-run crashes.
In the ten counties that make up the Tampa Bay area there have been 9,912 hit-and-run crashes. Of those crashes, there were 2,268 injuries and there were 23 fatalities.
According to a 2018 AAA report, Florida has one of the highest rates of hit-and-run crashes per-capita. Florida made the list along with New Mexico and Louisiana.
Also, according to AAA, the trend for nationwide hit-and-run instances is on the rise.