A staggering number of drivers in Chicago flee the scene after hitting pedal cyclists and pedestrians, and the number of hit and run accidents continues to rise. Data by the City of Chicago shows that between 2005 and 2015, 22 percent of fatal bike collisions and 41 percent of deadly pedestrian accidents involved hit-and-run drivers. Though not the highest in the country, the number has been increasing drastically and the rates top peer cities, including New York City.
Probable Reasons for Hit-And-Run Incidents
Illinois law provides that a driver involved in an auto accident resulting in injury to or death shall immediately stop at the scene or anywhere close thereto and shall render aid, remain at the scene of the accident, share contact information with the other parties, or call the police. But many motorists fail to fulfill these requirements and local traffic safety authorities aren’t certain why this is common. It could be that they are speeding, under the influence of alcohol or narcotics, they are in the country illegally, they have no license or insurance, or a warrant for their arrest has already been issued. But even with a clean driving record, some individuals face confusion and make fight-or-flight decisions.
Motorists are driving faster, more recklessly, with outright disregard for other individuals on the roads, and with lack of reasonable judgment. People drive while texting, grooming, and recording videos for social media and this is a recipe for disaster. Rail ridership in Chicago has increased and so has the number of people who are out and about crossing and walking on the streets to get to and from the stations. Also, Chicago Department of Transportation reported that more people are opting to walk and bike around the city and this would mean an increase in the number of individuals on the streets and closer to motor vehicles. Many of the auto accidents that result involve pedestrians or cyclists who are more vulnerable to injury and death owing to the weight of a vehicle. A hit-and-run incident, especially in an isolated area means that it takes longer for victims to get the much needed medical care and this could result in catastrophic injuries and fatalities.