Abramson Smith Waldsmith LLP

California's answer to high prevalence of hit-and-run accidents

Recent data shows that the rate of hit-and-run accidents in the country is at an all-time high. The state of California has taken steps to help decrease these types of incidents, and the results have been positive. Its outcomes may help other states pass similar legislation, which should help limit the number of drivers that flee after hitting another vehicle or person.

According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, the number of fatalities due to drivers leaving the scene was the highest ever in 2016 and that every minute there is a hit-and-run accident in the country. Fleeing the scene of a crash is a criminal offense, and it also places additional burden on the victims, families and law enforcement. There are numerous reasons drivers leave the scene, and many times it is because the driver does not want the police involved due to some illegal activity.

The LA Times reports that in California, state officials recognize one of the reasons it has a high prevalence of hit-and-run crashes is because the driver may be in the state illegally and does not want to be deported or arrested. As an answer to the issue, the state started allowing these immigrants to take the driver's tests and receive their licenses Not only has it helped decrease the number of accidents due to their improved driving ability, but there is also less fear they are going to get into trouble with the law. Not only are the roads safer, but there is also an economic benefit because the victim and his or her insurance company are no longer responsible for damages caused by an accident.

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