In Maryland, hit-and-run accidents refer to incidents in which at least one individual involved in a crash leaves the scene before rendering aid or providing identifying information. These crashes contribute to the pain and suffering and economic burdens of typical injury crashes but can aggravate the severity of a victim’s outcome. The delay or complete lack of medical attention for the victim can lead to deadly consequences. In addition to civil ramifications, those who flee an accident scene can face criminal charges.
An analysis by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Fatal Reporting System (FRS) revealed an increase in fatal hit-and-run accidents. There are many individual, vehicle, and environmental factors that play a role in these accidents. Additionally, researchers apply two primary behavioral theories to drivers who commit hit-and-runs. Under the “rational decision theory,” drivers may decide to flee when they have the opportunity, the incentive, and the time to flee. For instance, drunk driving is more likely to occur at night or when there is limited lighting and fewer witnesses. Similarly, a drunk driver who commits an accident at night may take the opportunity to flee.
For example, a recent article reported on a 3 a.m. Hagerstown drunk driving accident where the driver may have been attempting to flee. Police explained that they saw the driver leaving the scene when they arrived at the accident. Police apprehended the vehicle on the ramp and arrested the driver with DUI. The second car’s driver and one passenger suffered life-threatening injuries. Further, emergency responders transported another passenger to the “shock trauma” unit. Early evidence suggests that both drivers may have been under the influence of alcohol.