By on November 2, 2018

Roadway fatalities have been on the decline relative to population since the 1970s. However, the safest year on record since car ownership became commonplace was actually 2014. Deaths spiked in the following two years, with a very modest decline in 2017. While some of the increase can be attributed to more people driving more miles than ever before, accounting for both elements still results in a higher overall rate of fatal incidents.

Hit-and-run statistics mimic this trend, with 2,046 pedestrian deaths reported in 2016. It’s not the total number that’s alarming — it’s the rate of increase, too. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety now claims hit-and-run fatalities are becoming a serious issue; reported incidents within the United States have seen a 60-percent increase since 2009. In fact, they’re the highest they’ve been since the NHTSA started keeping track in 1975. 

Figuring out why is the difficult part, though. It may simply be due to the number of pedestrians and motorists distracted by their phones. Urban centers have also seen steady population growth of late. Perhaps simply putting so many cars and people in a smaller area are causing the problem.

There’s some credence to the latter assumption. According to Auto Insurance Center, which broke down existing data on hit-and-run accidents using data acquired from the NHTSA’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System, more than 2 in 3 of the hit-and-run deaths from 2016 involved pedestrians and/or bicyclists. While it’s safe to assume most fatal collisions between vehicles don’t normally allow one to putter off afterward, motorists are also less likely to come into contact with individuals forgoing motorized transport on the highway.

The states with the highest rate of fatal-hit-and runs per 100,000 residents were Nevada, Florida, Tennessee, Texas, California, South Carolina, Louisiana, Connecticut, and Alaska. However, New Mexico surpassed them all with 2.4 deadly hit-and-runs per 100,000 people in 2016 — the most recent year with sufficient data.

Tring to find correlations between the state is difficult. While a number had above-average homelessness rates and most were on the high end of roadway fatalities relative to their population, there were multiple outliers. For example, Connecticut had one of the lowest death rates overall in 2016 and New Mexico’s homeless population is average relative to its size.

States also vary wildly in terms of seasonal weather conditions. But incidents tended to be more common in the months where foot traffic would be more common and drop sharply during the coldest parts of the year. October typically saw a large spike in hit-and-runs, almost assuredly due to Halloween. Still, even this was not true every single year.

The Auto Insurance Center also broke down the recorded reasons for a hit-and-run. Many incidents were attributed to things like failure to yield, careless driving, or reckless driving. Over 6 percent were deemed to be non-traffic violations and were instead categorized as manslaughter, homicide, or assault committed without malice — which isn’t particularly useful.

In fact, most of the collisions have no identifying factor, and many drivers are never caught. Overall, police only make arrests in about 1 percent of all hit-and-run crashes each year, a rate that has remained stagnant since 2013. Even New York City, which typically has more witnesses and ways to catch hit-and-run offenders, only nabs about 9 percent of them. While it’s usually a little easier to catch individuals who flee the scene after fatally striking someone, 2 in 3 still get away, according to the NYPD.

“Hit-and-run crashes in the United States are trending in the wrong direction,” Dr. David Yang, executive director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, said in the press release accompanying the study. “Our analysis shows that hit-and-run crashes are a growing traffic safety challenge and the AAA Foundation would like to work with all stakeholders to help curtail this problem.”

[Images: Auto Insurance Center ]

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82 Comments on “Why Are Fatal Hit-and-run Accidents At an All-time High?...”


  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Because civility is dead – this isn’t an us vs them issue it is a societal issue. We’re all self-absorbed, self-important, and our views on our fellow man are becoming very amoral.

    • 0 avatar
      PeriSoft

      “We’re all self-absorbed, self-important, and our views on our fellow man are becoming very amoral.”

      This is satisfying to believe but probably not true: People have been saying it for the last 3000 years, almost precisely in those words (read any Roman-era commentary on the state of the world for a healthy dose of “things are crap now and they weren’t back in my day”). So it seems unlikely that societal decay is to blame for a mere few years of a trend.

      • 0 avatar
        TrailerTrash

        so true. always trying to convince my negative son’s view of the world as well.
        try to explain that this is actually the same position of every generation.
        just watch Rebel Without A Cause…or how i had to participate in nuclear attack drill hiding under school desks in the early sixties.

        maybe statistics are just better kept.

        then again, you can try to get away…and then run for texas senator.

      • 0 avatar
        Bill Wade

        And they were quite right. Look what happened to Rome.

        • 0 avatar
          Middle-Aged (Ex-Miata) Man

          The Roman analogy is quite apt, and we aren’t talking of “a mere few years.” The decline of American society, and the country as a whole, has been rather easy to track throughout the last seven decades.

    • 0 avatar

      Assuming the one who flees knows the accident occurred, that person’s “world view” could be a factor (however small). If their view of human life is that “humans are no more important or “special” than animals than why not just leave the scene? Fear of punishment would be another factor. That could fold easily back into world view also. A view that believes one should take responsibility for their actions would not condone leaving the scene of such an accident. Add that into APaGtth’s comment and you may have the beginning of understanding some of the “why”.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    This has also become something of an issue in the Greater Toronto Area. In particular regarding pedestrians. The municipal election actually had pedestrian safety as one of its primary issues.

    16 pedestrians struck by vehicles on Thursday November 1st alone. Wait until next week when the clock moves back and people are commuting home in darkness.

  • avatar
    JimC2

    I’m surprised that Florida isn’t a darker shade. Kill a cyclist in Florida and you get your wrist slapped with “failing to maintain your lane.” Ain’t nobody got time for a hundred dollar sucker fine. The state legislature, in its infinite wisdom, figures that is a scary enough penalty to deter bad drivers.

  • avatar
    MoDo

    17 people were hit by cars in Toronto YESTERDAY and one killed this morning.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    The total number of pedestrian deaths is not the highest that it has ever been.

    The rate of pedestrian deaths per vehicle is above its low point in 2009 and is back to 1999 levels, but lower than it was prior to that.

    The percentage of total motor vehicle fatalities that is comprised of pedestrians has varied between 11-16% since the mid-1970s.

    It would appear that what has increased is not the number or rate of fatalities, but the percentage of drivers who are choosing to flee fatal crash scenes.

    I’m not sure why that is, but one can presume that one reason is that they believe that they can get away with it. They’re probably right; drivers who kill pedestrians are often not prosecuted, even when the driver is intoxicated.

  • avatar
    George B

    Both drunk pedestrians and drunk drivers make poor decisions. I’d guess that increases in looking at cell phone screens while walking increases pedestrian deaths. Drunk drivers and illegal aliens driving without a license have a strong incentive to leave the scene of the accident, fatality or not, and hitting a pedestrian doesn’t usually disable the car.

  • avatar
    Pastor Glenn

    Part of the problem, as I see it, is that so many pedestrians are so distracted with their face in their smartphones, etc. This doesn’t excuse the diabolical behavior of drivers who don’t stop, of course.

    Plus sorry to say it, but some bicyclists and even pedestrians are getting very ‘entitled mentality’ and see car traffic as the ‘enemy’

    Newsflash: a pedestrian or a bike will lose against a car or truck, every time.

    I’ve had a bicyclist cross my path without looking or slowing down, while I’m in town driving. When I slammed on the brakes and “bipped” the horn, I got the finger and yelled at.

    • 0 avatar
      raph

      On the other side bicyclist have to put up with a lot of arrogance from drivers. For the most part bicyclist are considered slow moving nuisances.

      Generally I stick to the sidewalk since drivers tend to ignore the three foot rule. I suppose its just cheaper and less troublesome to hit a cyclist as long as they make sure they roll over them with both sets of tires since dead people cant sue and the damage to the vehicle is minimal.

      And while illegal to do so I haven’t been stopped by a cop yet for riding on the sidewalk as I’ll guess again they dont want to have to deal with a fatality of some sort.

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      I bet very, very few of these deaths are due to pissed off drivers running over people on purpose. As you write, you stopped. Every other p’d off driver will do the same.

      As a cyclist/pedestrian, and even motorcyclist, being too polite is more dangerous than ensuring you’re visible. You have to get drivers’ attention one way or the other. People, like all animals, are hardwired to recognize, prioritize and respond to erratic, unexpected movement, while ignoring the expected. So, swerving around a bit, and riding/walking erratically (flapping your headlight a bit…), is about as safe and defensive as riding and walking can be. While trying to be invisible, not to disturb and offend someone, is the exact opposite.

      Of course, once you do have people’s attention, politeness, not a raised middle finger, is proper. And I do realize in our politicized times, lots of trafficants, of all groups, fail to abide by that.

    • 0 avatar
      civicjohn

      @Pastor, when I’m in London walking (or even NYC), I’ve found the best person to follow on the sidewalk is a mother with a stroller in front of her. At least she gets a bit of sympathy if anyone bothers to even look up from their phone.

  • avatar
    civicjohn

    I’m sure I’ll get blasted for this, but the previous mayor of the major town next to me made it priority #1 to greatly increase the bike lane infrastructure. Millions spent, but they never did a study of how many cars were taken off the road to justify the expenditures. She ultimately had to resign, but it wasn’t over the bike lanes.

    Maybe I’m just old and crazy, but I’m not as crazy as some of the bike riders are who routinely seem to think that the rules of the road don’t apply to them.

    I don’t want to see 1 more death of a bike rider – but if you have a 5-lane road (center turn lane) with bike paths on each side, you’re creating a scenario that this is almost inevitable. Meanwhile, the local DOT has to sometimes decrease the width of the vehicle lanes so they don’t have to tear up the sidewalks and make them narrower. I’m reminded of the cost incurred by Seattle for adding bike lanes – some parts of which cost $12 million per mile:

    https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/politics/12-million-per-mile-for-a-bike-lane-that-should-trigger-a-civic-heart-attack/

    • 0 avatar
      Dan

      “I’m sure I’ll get blasted for this, but the previous mayor of the major town next to me made it priority #1 to greatly increase the bike lane infrastructure.”

      Politicians are wholly in the pocket of developers on this one, pretending that residents are going to bike/public transportation/walk instead of drive is a PR cover for carving out exemptions from the zoning requirements that would otherwise require expensive on-site parking and off-site road improvements.

      • 0 avatar
        JimC2

        “Politicians are wholly in the pocket of developers on this one”

        Hear, hear! For evidences, look no further than the way a lot of subdivisions are “planned” and built- pedestrian-unfriendly with only one or two ways out and usually no sidewalks. Hard to get around the place on foot and you have to drive out to the main road to get to the next neighborhood.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      (wrong place)

    • 0 avatar
      wave54

      Same in my city. Spent millions creating bike lanes, even narrowing 4-lane streets to just 2 lanes. Have yet to see 1 bike using them in 5 years.

      • 0 avatar
        stuki

        Urban “Bike lanes” are, like all progressive ideas, the bane of the exact thing they are ostensibly trying to accomplish. Unless they are a true mirror of the entire road network, one story above the roads, hence completely separate, all they do is create crash points where cars and bikes inevitably meet.

        In cities, on flat ground, bikes and cars move at largely the same speeds. A car turning right, has virtually no way of ensuring a bike in a bike lane to his right doesn’t come flying straight at 30 mph. It’s hard enough at intersections with IPhone distracted pedestrians moving at a fraction of that speed….

        Which is why, back in a saner era, bikes were given the same right to roads as cars and motorcycles. While infinitely slower pedestrians got their own sidewalks.

        The exception is extended uphills. Where motorized vehicles are much, much faster, and bikes in the roads a real impediment to traffic flow. Hence, this is where bike lane dollars should be going. Just like truck lanes on uphill sections of freeway. Or, taking notoriously hilly, and generally wide sidewalked, San Francisco as an example, let bikes ride on sidewalks uphill (most walk and push anyway. Even the in-shape ones, since they’re San Franciscans and hip enough to be on fixies….), but on roads downhill and on flats.

        I was riding, and driving, in Europe this summer, and for all their bragging about being more “bike friendly” than America (fat chance a place where it always rains will ever be more bike _riding_ friendly than LA…. Bike parking is another matter altogether….), they have exactly the same problem there: Bike lanes suddenly dumping into roads at intersections, making it almost impossible for cars to ensure they’re not hitting a bike when turning right.

        Bikes should ride in the roads. Far enough from the curb to ensure 1) Any unplanned swerving for potholes can be done towards the curb, not away from it, and 2) cars passing have to cross the yellow, even if just a little. Otherwise, they won’t see you. Then, if you’re really slow, on account of uphills, lack of shape, yapping on a phone, drunkenness…., ride on the sidewalk. Or at least far enough to the right to let cars pass _without_ having to cross yellows.

        • 0 avatar
          JimC2

          “Unless they are a true mirror of the entire road network”

          Good points, all of them, but I have a few comments to add to this one. You gotta start somewhere, and bike lanes and bike path networks, when they’re in their infancy in a presently bike-unfriendly city, are just that- a start. I think that when the network is limited to pockets here and there then that discourages a lot of would-be cyclists, thus a new network really does cause more congestion than it solves- at least at first. I think it takes years, but once enough of the pockets are better connected by *viable* and *safe* bike routes, and more and more people use them, then they do alleviate congestion by fewer cars (and car parking spots). But there is a big divide between bike-friendly American (North American) and European cities and bike-unfriendly cities. That gap is a lot of dollars, infrastructure, and years.

          For the right-turning car, as a former frequent cyclists, I respected the law of gross tonnage while simultaneously trying to establish and maintain visual communication with motorists (and make steady, predictable, expeditious forward progress for the good of everybody). As a motorist, I maintain awareness of cyclists up ahead and cyclists as I pass them, since they often catch up on my right side. Not everybody on the road thinks like that, especially the fatties who hardly ever rode a bike past age ten.

          • 0 avatar
            stuki

            I simply don’t see the utility of even attempting to maintain 3 (or more, skateboarders, roller bladers, stroller joggers and Birders will want their own lanes as well…..) entirely segregated road networks.

            We already have roads, and sidewalks. Bikes, and Birds, can very well pick the one most suitable for their speed at any given time. If there’s money, spend it on a “truck” lane (for bikes) on extended uphills, which is where bikes are most likely to hold up cars.

            If you, as a rider, is going straight, move out far enough to the left to let right turning cars by your right at intersections. It’s plain suicidal to try slipping by possibly right turning cars on the inside at every intersection. Just stay out until you have cleared the intersection. Then you can move further right again. Heck, if you are running at any sort of pace, you should even do that…

    • 0 avatar
      RedRocket

      This. Bike lanes are the flavor of the month for urban/transportation planners, and our city is also spending ridiculous amounts of money on them. Forget about the fact that they are seldom used even in the summer months, and totally abandoned in the winter, since this is not a San Diego climate. Forget about the reality that they will never be used the way the planners suggest they will be, the way they are in the Netherlands and parts of Europe where $6 or $7/gal gasoline is not unusual. They just keep putting them in, sacrificing vehicle lanes and parking, and creating hazards. It is utterly ridiculous.

  • avatar
    Menar Fromarz

    I have found over the past few years, and particularly this one, that driving in the towns nearest us, the issues are as thus:
    1) Brodozer pickups driven at a high rate of velocity, oblivious to everything.
    2) Old critters not paying attention to traffic and safe and commons sense behaviour.
    3) Meth and otherwise drug/booze addled fruit bats, riding bikes in downtown traffic, weaving and out, causing all sorts of issues. And No, they don’t look like they bought that nice bike.

    Add 1,2 and 3 together and its a recipe for mayhem.

    For what its worth, this past 2 years the cyclists that choose to ride with no helmet has increased to the point that its seemingly rare to see a helmeted cyclist, unless its a roadie, or youngsters on full downhill machines.
    Go figure!

    • 0 avatar
      JimC2

      Are you saying that brodozer trucks, under rapid acceleration, are an issue? Rate of velocity is acceleration.

      Language and semantics aside, I agree with your three points.

      1) Badly driven extra large pickup trucks- yup. I see plenty of these driven sensibly and there are other positive examples (the bro trucks helped a lot of people out when Houston flooded), but there are also a lot of invincible, inbred yokels driving these, rollin’ coal.
      2) Elderly drivers driving like stereotypical blue hairs- yup, and if anything I have much less patience for them, on account that they have had decades to learn how to drive courteously and sensibly (keep right except to pass, plan ahead, use your turn signals, go when there is room and don’t go where there is not room, etc.) and to me, if they are driving badly then I assume they have been driving badly for decades and thus deserve no courtesy.
      3) Meth addicts/oxy addicts/mother’s little helper addicts/miscellaneous junkies- yep, on two wheels and four, pedal powered, gas powered, and electric.

      Add to that bad cyclists in general. As somebody who used to pedal to get around in my teens and early twenties, I don’t mind the odd cyclist running a red light *when no one is coming*. But it @#$%*& me off when they do it in heavy traffic because it makes me think of all those times that I did stop for a light, obeyed traffic laws, and worked to work *with* the flow of traffic and cause as little disruption as possible.

    • 0 avatar
      civicjohn

      This, pch.

      A late night hit and run gives the perpetrator more time to get away and hopefully their metabolism is working at the standard rate of 0.016% per hour (sometimes quicker if they are a chronic alcoholic).

      Leaving the scene of an accident and having several hours to sober up is a much easier path for the f***tard instead of vehicular homicide. I am 2 families removed from a then 24 year-old who ran over and killed someone, only to park the car in a garage owned by someone else (who should burn in Hell as well). He never spent a night in jail..

      How do you legislate this away?

  • avatar
    tankinbeans

    Decreasing levels of patience could be a factor here as well. The other day I was driving home and almost witnessed somebody take out a gradeschooler trying to cross the road. I was stopped for the bus whose stop arm was extended and somebody tore past me and almost plowed into the small human who was only trying to cross the street. It wasn’t a situation where anybody could have argued that the child’s presence was out of nowhere since the bus had been there for quite a few seconds and the stop arm extended for a while.

    • 0 avatar
      JimC2

      Back in the heyday of internet comments, before the TV and newspaper websites made you use facebook for your comments, we had a friendly, perennial, over/under wager late each summer on when the first errant car/truck would smash into the back of a school bus. You know, the bright yellow paint and flashing lights just blend into any background.

      I would love to see cop cars prowl around when the local school buses are making their runs each day. It seems this would be really low hanging fruit, catching and fining drivers like the one you’re talking about. Fine the #$%& out of idiots like that! It would take a little more effort than watching the numbers on a radar gun though.

  • avatar
    phxmotor

    Distracted driving.
    What else?

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      I agree, but distracted pedestrians as well. How many videos have we seen of people with their faces buried in their phones walk into things? It’s funny until they walk into a moving car

      • 0 avatar
        JimC2

        It’s not just a looking down at phones thing, it’s a micro-cultural thing that gets passed down through generations. Watch the news and keep track of *where* a lot of pedestrian strikes are. In some cities there will be a lot in certain neighborhoods- and when you drive down the busy streets there you can sometimes see a whole family taking a shortcut through lanes of traffic (instead of walking down the block to the crosswalk). Some of it is economically disadvantaged people who can’t afford to drive whenever and wherever they please, but a lot of it is that some people are raised to not think any different- then they pass it along to their young.

        • 0 avatar
          Drew8MR

          I work in Santa Ana and jaywalking is completely out of control. I’ll see a mom with a babe in arms and towing 2 toddlers dash across 6 lanes of 50mph traffic within 50 yards of a crosswalk. Crossing between the streetlights at night on major arterials is more common than using crosswalks.

      • 0 avatar
        raph

        Lie2me said – “I agree, but distracted pedestrians as well. How many videos have we seen of people with their faces buried in their phones walk into things? It’s funny until they walk into a moving car”

        You really cant use that as proof. Mustangs for example depsite the video coverage on YouTube and elsewhere are niether in the most accidents nor rack up the highest number of fatalities. In many cases people just expect bad things to happen and put particular situations under the microscope.

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          I understand what you’re saying, but the videos of Mustangs spinning out from Cars and Coffee isn’t because the drivers are distracted, they’re purposely showing off and getting in trouble. Pedestrians distracted by their phones are being carelessly absent minded with bad results

          Not all Mustang drivers spin out and not all pedestrians with phones walk into traffic, but both are just an example of what CAN happen when acting irresponsibly

  • avatar
    Pch101

    Looking more closely at AAA’s summary, this whole thing is somewhat misleading.

    Between 2006 and 2016, the percentage of total crashes that were hit and run varied between 11.3 and 12.3%. Pretty consistent from year to year.

    Over the same period, the percentage of total crashes that involved a hit and run with an injury declined slightly.

    What has uptrended slightly is the number and rate of crashes in which those hit and run crashes involved a fatality.

    That could be a fluke. The change in the number is not statistically significant when viewed over the long run or on a percentage basis.

  • avatar
    CobraJet

    Here in the biggest city in west Tennessee I think I know the reason. Most hit and run drivers a. don’t have a valid driver’s license, b. have bogus tags, c. have no insurance and d. have active warrants.

    • 0 avatar
      JimC2

      “Here in the biggest city in west Tennessee … bogus tags”

      Heh, also true.

      But least your car registration isn’t based on the “honor system” like it is in Alabama, where you can drive a car indefinitely with “tag applied for” and/or a car dealer decal where the license plate goes. As long as you don’t get pulled over and told to present registration and insurance, then you get away with it. It’s not like everybody doesn’t *know* what is going on when they see a fifteen year old Malibu/PT Cruiser/6 cylinder Mustang/any Nissan with one of these, riding on three bald regular tires and a temporary spare…

      Somehow the AL DMV can’t figure out how to move forward into the 1970s and solve the great mystery of how to issue temporary tags.

    • 0 avatar
      bullnuke

      A few of the states highlighted at the high-end of the statistics likely have no license/no insurance drivers due to the legal inability or desire to obtain licensure and required insurance and these folks probably tend to rapidly leave the scene due to their legal status. There have been several in this situation even up here in Western Ohio/Eastern Indiana in the local four-county area over the last couple of years. There are currently two in this situation in the local county lockup.

      • 0 avatar
        Mike G

        California legalized driver’s licenses for people without legal residency a few years ago, so that would make an interesting comparison study with states that have not.

    • 0 avatar
      road_pizza

      e: All of the above.

  • avatar
    slavuta

    “It may simply be due to the number of pedestrians and motorists distracted by their phones.”

    there we go

  • avatar
    Null Set

    I have an observation that may seem counter-intuitive. I live in Santa Monica, which these days is experiencing a significant growth in traffic, due to economic development (i.e., people commuting here from cheaper places to live). I have been hit crossing the street, in a crosswalk, with a green light and a walk light, twice now since the New Year. Luckily, in both cases with no real injuries, and the drivers didn’t flee. In both cases the drivers were looking left at oncoming traffic, preparing to turn right once the light changed, and simply forgot to check first to see if someone was actually preparing to cross the street they were turning onto.

    So far so good. But I also think this is occurring because there are so *few* pedestrians in Santa Monica. Almost no one walks here. So drivers get used to not having to worry about us to begin with. I notice in areas like Hollywood and West Hollywood this has never happened to me, maybe because both areas have heavy pedestrian usage. So it could be the *lack* of pedestrians that can contribute to this phenomenon. Among other things of course.

  • avatar
    wsn

    Traffic accidents are unfortunate. But if it involves a death and the driver chooses to flee, then it should be automatically upgraded to a crime with a minimum sentence like 5 years. Is should also be allocated the same kind of investigation resource as a manslaughter case.

  • avatar

    May it be related to terrorism? It become trendy to use vehicles as a weapons running over unsuspected pedestrians.

  • avatar
    JimZ

    because we’re all @$$holes. Doesn’t matter what your political alignment is. Liberals are @$$holes, conservatives are @$$holes. Republicans are @$$holes, Democrats are @$$holes.

    we’re all @$$holes because we don’t think past the next five seconds. and we only care about “owning” the other side.

    • 0 avatar
      SaulTigh

      Well, you had me at @$$hole, because you’re right, we all are, but you lost me at “owning” the other side. I really just want the other side to leave me alone. You do you, I’ll do me, and we’ll all get along fabulously.

      5 years ago, 10 years definitely never would have voted for someone like Donald Trump, but it became clear that the other side was not going to be content just raising awareness. The path they’ve chosen, when taken all they way, will always have to be enforced at the end of a gun barrel.

    • 0 avatar

      “because we’re all @$$holes”.

      Talk about yourself Jim. I am not an @$$hole and do not appreciate someone I hardly know attaching labels to me and my political affiliations. And Republicans are not @$$holes, I can assure you about that.

  • avatar
    pdog_phatpat

    IDK, maybe morons with no common sense and a me first attitude on their phones while driving? Maybe?

  • avatar
    highdesertcat

    You guys may notice that New Mexico, the State where I live, is the darkest shade of all. Something I’ve been telling you since day one on ttac.

    That, and illegal aliens. We have a ton of both, fatal hit-and-run accidents and illegal aliens from all over the planet.

    It makes me wonder why so many East Coasters and West Coasters choose to move to NM to get away from their high-taxation state.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      “You guys may notice that New Mexico, the State where I live, is the darkest shade of all. Something I’ve been telling you since day one on ttac.”

      yes, because skin color has everything to do with the ability to drive a car.

      you are worthless trash.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        Look in the mirror, if you want to see worthless trash.

        Drunk again, eh?

      • 0 avatar
        JimC2

        Ummmmmmmmmmm, JimZ, did you look at the pictures that came with the article? The picture with the map has each state shaded in varying shades of red, the shades representing statistics. Aaaand (drumroll) New Mexico is the darkest shade on that map. NM, land of Walter White (fiction reflects real life?), oilfield roughnecks, a fair number of illegals who exist and live in a legal gray world…

        Just some friendly advice from a stranger on the internet, but you should carefully pay attention to what a person says before you go about angrily accusing them of racism.

      • 0 avatar
        Superdessucke

        He said illegal aliens, he didn’t mention anything about skin color. Why do you assume that all illegal aliens have dark skin?

        Who’s the racist again?

      • 0 avatar
        gtem

        HDC was referring to the included chart. Go get some help JimZ.

    • 0 avatar

      And more are coming in Grand Caravans. Brace yourself.

  • avatar
    4drSedan

    Yes Jim Z he didn’t say anything about skin color and as a member of a border enforcement Task Force I can tell you that yes the majority of people crossing illegally are Mexican. Some of the Afghans we’ve caught look almost Anglo, the Indonesians aren’t that dark, and the Chinese are pretty light. Don’t get me started on the Chechens. So skin color isn’t really a determiner. Now go be offended on someone else’s behalf to make yourself feel superior somewhere else.

  • avatar
    Vanillasludge

    In Wisconsin on a Friday night you can literally smell the drunk drivers in traffic. We are a nation of stoned, distracted drivers piloting ever larger vehicles that are harder thab ever to see out of. Whats the surprise here?

  • avatar
    Superdessucke

    My take on it is that aggressive driving and speeding has been on the rise. I can be passing somebody at 80 miles an hour in the left lane making a pass now and it seems I will often end up getting tailgated by a car going 90 or faster. I’ve also noticed that drivers are a lot more chancy with lane cutting now, cutting right in front of cars often at very high speeds.

    At first I thought I was just getting old and slow but I realize the people are really just driving faster. 20 years ago if you drove 80 mph, you would be blowing by everybody and maybe drawing a few angry honks. Today, you will end up getting passed by many cars like you are standing still.

    And when you mix this aggressive driving into our increasingly more populated urban centers where more people are biking and walking places than they used to, you have a recipe for more pedestrian and bike fatalities. It’s simple mathematics.

    Then mix in smartphone use among both drivers and pedestrians and I’m surprised we’re not seeing even more dramatic increases, quite frankly.

    I don’t know what the cause of it is. I think Millennials in general drive faster and more aggressively, no offense to anybody, just my observation. Then of course that spurs others to drive faster and more aggressively too and so on and so forth, until you get what we are seeing now.

  • avatar
    beachy

    Harris County Texas (Houston) has very high rates of fatal drunk driving crashes. I think NM also has a huge problem with drunk drivers, and I bet Florida does too. Add to this phone distraction (every third driver trying to text and drive) and that is all you need.

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    Living in Las Vegas…

    1. Tourist driving in rental cars they aren’t accustomed to, driving roads they don’t know

    B. Locals without licenses or insurance, due to DUI

    III. Locals without insurance for economic reasons

    4. Persons without the proper documentation to obtain license and insurance

    E. Stone-drunk pedestrians, both local and tourist

  • avatar
    Pch101

    Folks, this is painful.

    One more time:

    -The overall crash rate is close to its all-time lows

    -The percentage of total crashes that are hit-and-run is consistent with the norm and hasn’t really changed

    -The percentage of injury crashes that involve a hit-and-run has declined somewhat

    -The percentage of fatal crashes that involve a hit-and-run has increased somewhat.

    If you combine the percentage of injuries and fatals that are hit-and-run, then you will see that it hasn’t changed much at all.

    In other words, what has happened here is that among those crashes that involve either an injury or fatality, a greater proportion of those involve fatals.

    Chances are pretty good that those are a fluke. Some people will flee from crashes, and certain kinds of crashes make it easier to flee.

    Hit and runs occur disproportionately at night. Presumably, this is due to the fact that it’s easier to get away, since there will probably be fewer witnesses and less visibility. It probably also correlates to the fact that DUIs are more likely to occur at night for reasons that you can guess.

    Hit and runs also tend to happen on lower speed roads. In part, that’s because more crashes happen on lower speed roads generally, since that’s where we spend more of our time driving. However, some of it is also due to the fact that a high-speed crash is likely to cause enough damage to ones vehicle that it isn’t possible to flee the scene.

    These crashes are probably also more likely to involve pedestrians or cyclists for obvious reasons: Pedestrians and cyclists don’t do well when they are hit by vehicles for reasons that should be obvious, while the vehicles that strike them are not likely to be so damaged that they can’t flee the scene. An injury or fatal crash that involves two or more vehicles is likely to cause enough damage that those cars can’t be driven thereafter.

  • avatar
    pwrwrench

    Something I have noticed in recent years is people that are walking, step put in front of moving vehicles without looking. I guess they assume that all drivers will see them and stop. It will only take one driver that is distracted to give someone a very bad day.
    In my observations I see people of all ages doing this so there is something else involved.

  • avatar
    Lightspeed

    Here in Edmonton about 15-years ago there was a spike in pedestrian-car incidents, with a number of hit and runs. The police did a big crack-down and publicity campaign. Now, pedestrians here seem to feel they have carte-blanche to wander into the street anywhere without looking at all. I’ve been to places like Ankara, Istanbul, Buenos Aires, New York, Houston and you’d never think about putting a toe over the curb without knowing it could end your life. In Ankara, we quickly learned to watch the locals and see how they get across a street safely.

  • avatar
    Maymar

    Maybe it’s just me (or as I get older, my night vision is deteriorating), but with the growth in xenon headlights (and similar bright white lighting systems), there’s more and more glare, making pedestrians even more invisible at night.

    • 0 avatar
      Lightspeed

      A very good point and one I encounter every day driving downtown in the pre-dawn morning. LED systems especially have horrible oncoming glare. And now LED headlights overwhelm my car’s LCD dimmed mirror, so I get blinding glare from both directions now – Honda/Acura are the worst. Pedestrians get completely lost in all that glare.

  • avatar

    You see this in NYC a lot. Evening news “Police are looking for a driver who hit and run X person at Y location” (cue family tearfully asking the person to turn themselves in).

    My guess, having done some accident cases over the years….

    Many hit and run are unlicensed, or uninsured. Immigration status isn’t much of a factor. In NYC, at least, you know someone else will call 911….

    They don’t want to compound the incident with an arrest, civil law suit, and bust for DWI/Drugs…..if you are pretty sure someone else will call 911, there is no practical reason to stop, morality aside.

    On a separate note, Vision Zero has taught pedestrians bad habits. As a kid, the teevee always sang “cross at the green, NOT in between”. We were taught not to step in front of moving vehicles…imagine that. Today, the whole grid is slowed down, the road narrowed, and pedestrians are king. The stereotypical person crossing mid block between cars with iphone firmly in gaze is not a stereotype…the pedestrian has literally been taught they have no responsibility in the system at all. Toss in the five lane road with a new hard bike line (four lanes) and then trucks deliver to businesses, or taxi stops (one on each side, now two lanes). What was three flowing lanes is now one and a half. The hard bike lanes, meanwhile, are used by a tiny, tiny minority of total users.

  • avatar
    ptschett

    I wonder what numerical values the in-between colors correspond to? With it being assessed on a per-capita basis it doesn’t take many accidents in North Dakota, Vermont or Maine for them to show up here.

  • avatar
    lon888

    Cause simplified: Big azz SUVs/trucks, drivers without formal driving instruction, cell phones.

  • avatar
    Janice Thompson

    Adding another problem. The A pillars have become huge since 2012? . That front blind spot can hide 3 or 4 pedestrians. Even worse if I am doing a rolling stop. Good thing I haven’t hit anybody yet.

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