There are many types of crashes that can occur but one of the most frustrating is the hit-and-run. The number of crashes in Florida in which a driver left the scene exceeded 92,000 in 2015, resulting in more than 180 fatalities. Florida’s Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles also revealed the following:
- Male drivers received 70 percent of the hit-and-run citations issued to 18- to 27-year-olds in 2015.
- More than a third of all citations issued for hit-and-run in 2015 went to people aged 18 to 27.
- Drivers leave the scene in about 25 percent of auto-pedestrian accidents.
- Pedestrians accounted for more than half of the deaths caused by hit-and-run drivers in 2015.
- Hit-and-run drivers caused over 1,200 cases of serious injuries and more than 19,000 injuries overall.
Drivers in Florida who are involved in crashes causing death or injury are required to stop. The DHSMV states that leaving the scene of an accident is a second-degree misdemeanor if the only damage is to property, but if a person is harmed, penalties could quickly become much worse. Anyone charged with hit-and-run in an incident that produces injury or death faces an automatic revocation of his or her license for at least three years, plus felony charges.
Penalties for hit-and-run drivers were increased when Governor Rick Scott signed the Aaron Cohen Life Protection Act into law. The legislation mandates a minimum sentence of four years in prison for any driver who leaves the scene of a crash in which someone loses his or her life.