This month, after several serious hit-and-run car accidents in Orange County, the community has turned their focus on accidents in which drivers flee the scene. Why do drivers feel compelled to leave the scene of an accident, even if someone is seriously injured and needs help? Here are several common reasons:
- They are driving impaired. Many hit-and-run drivers are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Some think they can flee the scene long enough to sober up, while others hope they will never be connected to the accident.
- They know they are at fault for the accident. Some drivers break numerous laws at the time of an accident: speeding, reckless driving, distracted driving, street racing, or striking a pedestrian in a crosswalk. These drivers may flee because they know they don’t want to take responsibility for their actions.
- They are unlicensed drivers. Some hit-and-run drivers do not have a license or are driving under a revoked or suspended license. These drivers also may have a history of similar offenses and know the consequences of being caught will be serious.
- They are in the country illegally. In Southern California, a significant number of drivers are illegal immigrants who may fear that stopping at the scene of an accident, even to render life-saving aid, could lead to their deportation.
- They are uninsured. Other drivers may not have insurance or are driving cars which are not insured. They flee the scene of an accident to avoid paying for the damage they caused.
- They are driving a stolen vehicle. Again, a driver who knows he is breaking a serious law at the time of the crash may weigh his options and decide to risk hit-and-run charges if he is caught.
- They are scared. Some drivers simply run because they are scared, even if they haven’t done anything wrong necessarily (until fleeing the scene of the crash). These drivers may be young, inexperienced, or simply poor decision makers.
- They don’t care. Sadly, some hit-and-run drivers simply don’t care about the people whom they injured, the damage they caused, or the laws they broke.
- They are protecting themselves. Some drivers flee the scene of an accident because they wish to protect their good reputation, avoid exposure, or to keep a secret (such as where they were or where they were going).
If you were injured in a hit-and-run accident and you are in need of legal guidance, we may be able to help. At Russell & Lazarus, our Orange County accident attorneys offer free case evaluations. To schedule a private meeting with one of our lawyers, call us today at (949) 851-0222.