Hit and Run Accidents too Common in NEPA
Wednesday, August 31st, 2016
Hit and run accidents, like the deadly crash that killed a man riding his bicycle on a Scranton sidewalk on Sunday morning, are happening all too frequently in Scranton, Wilkes-Barre and surrounding areas. Just today, a motorcyclist was killed in a hit and run accident in Philadelphia. The impact so strong when the motorcycle was hit by an SUV, that the victim’s body was thrown about 30 feet. Hit and run accidents can be deadly, especially when involving a pedestrian, bicyclist or motorcyclist. They are tragic for the victims of these crashes, and also for their families.
2015 Traffic Crash Facts
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released a report this week stating that traffic accident fatalities were up sharply in 2015. 2,348 more people died in traffic accidents in 2015 than in 2014. A total of 35,092 people were killed in crashes. This a 7% increase over the previous year, the largest increase in traffic crash fatalities in nearly 50 years. The number of those injured in crashes increased to 2.44 million people. Hit and run accidents have been on the increase with other crashes.
- Bicyclist fatalities rose by 12.2%
- Pedestrian fatalities rose by 9.5%
- Motorcyclist fatalities rose by 8.3%
Pennsylvania Hit and Run Accident Laws
When a truck, SUV or car hits something smaller, it can have tragic results. Leaving the scene of a hit and run accident is illegal. When you are involved in an accident, you are required to stop. Failure to do so can result in considerable penalties.
Kevin’s law was passed in 2014. The law was named for Kevin Miller, a 5-year-old boy who was killed by a hit and run driver on a Wilkes-Barre Street. With the law, penalties became stricter for those who flee the scene of fatal hit and run accidents. The law also fixed a loophole when it comes to DUI hit and run cases. DUI seems to be a major factor for drivers fleeing the scene of a hit and run crash.
Kevin’s Law increased the mandatory minimum prison sentence for fleeing the scene of fatal accident to 3 years. This sentence is now on par with the 3-year sentence for DUI homicide. This closed the loophole under which leaving the scene of a fatal accident carried a lesser minimum sentence than DUI homicide. Continuing to impose stricter penalties on those who flee the scene of these deadly accidents may save lives. It may also result in a safer environment for pedestrians and others.
If you have been injured in a hit and run accident or another car accident or truck accident, call the car accident attorneys at Distasio Kowaslski in Wilkes-Barre today at 570-970-5400. You need an attorney who is experienced and is going to fight to get you the justice you deserve.
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