Spending days in the sunshine is what draws people to Florida. More people out and about can mean more people are at risk to be hit by an automobile as a pedestrian.
Florida is a dangerous state for pedestrians
According to AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, Florida is among the top 3 states for the highest rates of fatal hit-and-run crashed per capita. AAA also reported in its 2016 report that almost 65% of people killed in hit-and-run crashes were pedestrians or bicyclists.
Tragic Accidents in the Tampa Metro Area
In the first 9 days of 2018, 382 pedestrians were hit in a hit-and-run crash in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Polk, and Manatee counties as reported by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. Of the 382 pedestrians abandoned by the person that hit them, 78 (over 20%) of them were seriously injured or killed.
On March 19th of this year, the Tampa Bay Times reported that 80 year old Felix De la Uz was killed at the 4000 block of W Hillsborough Avenue in Tampa after pushing his wife out of the way of a Honda Civic which swerved off the road hitting a street sign and electrical box before hitting De la Ux. The occupants of the Civic ran from the scene, who were later identified.
On May 3rd, 22 year old, McKenzie Messick, was killed in a hit-and-run crash on westbound I-4 in Polk County.
In Pasco County, on May 11th, 2018, a baby was injured in a hit-and-run crash while being pushed along with her mother in a wheelchair.
AAA Public Affairs Resources offer a table which show the duties of motorists involved in hit-and-run accidents and the penalties for fleeing the scene of an accident by state. The table shows that under Florida statutes 316.061, 316.062, and 316.027 it is a motorists duty to remain at the scene of an accident, provide their information, render aid, and notify police. If a motorist flees the scene of an accident where damage has occurred, the result is a misdemeanor, 60 days in jail, and $500 fine. If a motorist flees the scene of an accident in which injury has occurred, the result is a felony, license being revoked for 3 years, 5 years in jail, and $5,000 fine. If the hit-and-run accident results in a fatality, the penalty is a felony, license being revoked for 3 years, 4-30 years in jail, and a $10,000 fine.
What to do if you are a pedestrian injured in a hit-and-run
According to dmv.org, follow the below tips if you are a victim of a hit-and-run:
- Try to stay calm
- Gather the names and contact information from any witnesses at the scene
- Record information about the vehicle that hit you (make, model, license plate number, color, etc.)
- Document the date, time and location of the incident
- Take pictures of the scene of the accident
- Call police and file a police report
- Get medical attention