Hit-And-Runs On The Rise in Tampa Bay
When Cameron Fuller, a thirteen year old from Ruskin, set out on New Year’s Eve, he was just hoping to spend some time riding his new BMX bike. Instead, a hit-and-run accident left him in a coma for a week. Thankfully, Cameron is recovering well. Unfortunately, though, the driver is still on the run.
Hit-And-Runs On The Rise
Due to a rise in hit-and-run accidents, Cameron’s situation is not uncommon. According to the Tampa Bay Times, the number of hit-and-run accidents has increased by 21.5% from 2013. Because of this, 23 people died on Tampa Bay roads. In Florida as a whole, 179 people were killed in 2016 as a result of hit-and-run accidents.
Ironically, some of the blame is placed on the improving economy. As gas prices improve, more people are on the roads, leading to a higher chance of accidents. However, a lot of the blame falls on the drivers themselves. When people drive while intoxicated or distracted, they could easily hit a pedestrian without noticing it. Or, if a driver has been drinking or using illegal substances, they might flee the scene of an accident to avoid arrest, selfishly ignoring the victims. In other cases, a driver might not have a valid license at the time of the accident. There are many reasons why a driver might flee the scene of an accident, but nothing justifies hitting an innocent person and running away.
Preventing Hit-And-Run Accidents
Taking steps to prevent the hit-and-run epidemic in Florida, Governor Rick Scott recently signed a new law that sentences drivers to a minimum of 4 years in prison if they leave the scene after killing someone. The Florida Highway Patrol has also created a new position that focus exclusively on investigating hit-and-run accidents. This position serves to find people like the driver who hit Cameron.
With these new measures, hopefully the number of hit-and-run accidents will decrease within the next year. If everyone in the Tampa Bay region, from pedestrians to drivers to law enforcement officials, work together, the roads will be a much safer place!
The attorneys at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes represent those involved in car accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and other types of personal injury matters. Our firm is one of the oldest personal injury law firms in Tampa Bay. There are no attorneys’ fees or costs unless we prevail for you. Call our office 24 hours a day at 727-796-8282 or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.