Texas has the eighth-highest number of fatal hit-and-runs

A new study shows that Texas has the eighth-most hit-and-run deaths in the U.S. and those figures are rising.

Hit-and-run accidents are soaring across the nation, including in Texas. As Houston Public Media reports, a recent study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has found that the Lone Star State has the eighth-highest number of fatal hit-and-run vehicle accidents in the country. Furthermore, both in Texas and nationwide, deadly hit-and-run crashes have been rising at alarming rates over the past decade and recently reached record-breaking highs. The increase is due to a number of factors, including distracted driving, drunk driving, and uninsured drivers.

Hit-and-runs high in Texas

Nationwide, there were 2,049 deaths due to hit-and-run accidents in 2016, the most recent year for which data was included in the AAA report. That figure is a staggering 60 percent higher than hit-and-run deaths in 2009. On average, there has been a 7.2 percent increase in hit-and-run deaths each year across the U.S. since 2009. On average, there are 682,000 hit-and-run accidents every year.

In Texas, the situation is especially worrisome. Texas has the eighth-highest number of hit-and-run fatalities in the country and they are increasing here at an especially alarming rate. In just one year, for example, between 2015 and 2016, hit-and-run deaths in Texas skyrocketed by 30 percent.

Drunk, distracted, and uninsured

As CBS 4 News reports, drivers who flee the scene of an accident are much more likely than other drivers to either be intoxicated or uninsured. Drunk drivers are, for one, more likely to be involved in an accident in the first place. Furthermore, because they are intoxicated their judgment is often impaired, which can lead them to make the decision to leave the scene. For those who are uninsured or underinsured, leaving the scene of a crash is a misguided and illegal way of avoiding what could be a hefty bill.

Distracted driving is also likely playing a major role in the increase in such accidents. While distracted driving doesn't explain why drivers flee the scene of an accident, it likely explains why drivers are more likely to get into an accident in the first place. Distracted driving accidents have been increasing nationwide in recent years and has already been implicated in an increase in pedestrian and cyclist deaths, two road users who comprise close to two thirds of hit-and-run victims.

Personal injury law assistance

A motor vehicle accident can be a devastating experience, as much for the physical and emotional toll it exacts as for the financial one. Bills can quickly pile up after a crash, including for medical expenses, property damage, and lost income. That is why anybody injured in an accident should contact a personal injury attorney immediately. An attorney can help clients pursue whatever financial compensation they may be entitled to, which can help mitigate some of the burden caused by an accident.