Even though “hit and run charge” sounds pretty self-explanatory, you might be surprised by how many drivers don’t actually know what hit and run laws mean — and you might be even more surprised to find out that approximately one out of every 10 car crashes involves a driver who flees the scene and is guilty of a hit and run offense. Here’s what you need to know about hit and run laws:
- Any time there is a car accident, according to state laws, the driver (or drivers) are required to stay at the scene of the accident or inform someone of what happened immediately. If you leave the scene without reporting any property damage or personal injuries, no matter how small, you’re technically guilty of hit and run traffic violations.
- Although it’s not very common, it is possible to be issued a hit and run ticket for not reporting an accident that you’re responsible for, even if your property is the only thing damaged, and even if you are the only person with injuries.
- In cases where a police officer isn’t nearby and cannot make it to the scene of an accident or if you’ve damaged another person’s property and you can’t find the person/leave a note with contact information, you’re required to report the accident to the nearest police station.
- It’s common for serious car accidents to involve hit and run drivers because in many cases — especially when another person has been badly injured — drivers panic and leave the accident without thinking about the consequences. Even if you return to the scene of an accident after leaving (and not reporting what happened), you can be given a hit and run ticket.
- Last but not least, the important thing about hit and run accidents is this: with so many traffic cameras, security cameras, and bystanders who may have witnessed a car accident, it’s difficult for drivers to get away with a hit and run car accident. And in every case where a driver gets caught after fleeing the scene of an accident, the consequences and charges are always much worse than they could have been; hit and run cases often involve felony traffic violations, even if the accident would have been considered a misdemeanor traffic offense had the driver stayed in place.
Quite simply, it’s always best to play it safe when it comes to traffic violations.