There are almost six people who are killed in hit-and-run accidents every day. Since authorities began tracking hit-and-run accidents in 1975, more people have been fleeing the scenes of accidents than at any other time. One of the most basic explanations for why drivers may flee the scene of an accident is the fight or flight response. Many drivers may have been intoxicated, distracted by their smartphone, or may not have insurance and the possibility of being arrested or given a ticket causes them to flee. Less common reasons include that the vehicle may be stolen, the driver may have warrants, or be in the country as an undocumented immigrant.
Wink News reports that the Florida Highway Patrol is reminding drivers that it is important for them to stay at the scene of an accident.
February is “Hit and Run Awareness Month” and to bring the issue home, the Florida State Patrol has a message for drivers involved in accidents, “Stay at the scene.”
According to the Florida Highway Patrol, 25% of all accidents involve a hit-and-run. Miami-Dade County leads the state as far as the number of hit-and-run accidents.
They put particular emphasis on the fact that hit-and-run is not a mistake. It is a crime.
Currently, the law prescribes a penalty of a minimum of four years in prison for a driver who leaves the scene of an accident that involves a fatality.
Leaving the scene of an accident with simple property damage is a second-degree misdemeanor. Leaving the scene of an accident involving injuries can be either a second-degree or third-degree felony, depending on circumstances. Not only will the driver face jail time in the case of injuries or a fatality, but their license can be revoked for a minimum of three years.