Rose White, spokeswoman for AAA-Nebraska, says their research finds there’s another hit-and-run crash every minute nationwide.
“Between 2006 through 2016, there were 50 fatal crashes that occurred on Nebraska roadways in which the operator left the scene,” White says. “Also last year in Nebraska, four pedestrians were killed by hit-and-run drivers. One motorcyclist died as the result of a hit-and-run driver so far this year.”
White urges motorists to be cautious, patient and polite and be courteous to other drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists.
“If you drive a large pickup truck or SUV, those with the extended mirrors, use extra caution when sharing the road with bicyclists or when driving near pedestrians,” White says. “Some of these mirrors extend a foot-and-a-half from the side of the vehicle and can pose a deadly threat to any of those sharing the roadway.”
The AAA study finds nearly 65-percent of people killed in hit-and-run crashes are pedestrians or bicyclists. For those on foot or on bikes, White urges them to avoid distractions and stay alert.
“Be aware of your surroundings and be aware of those extra dangers that can pose a threat, especially for vehicles that might be turning right on a red light,” White says. “Use caution whenever you’re near the roadway. This means staying off your cell phone if you’re a pedestrian.”
Since 2009, the number of deaths resulting from hit-and-run crashes has risen more than seven-percent each year.
Florida and New Mexico are among the worst states for hit-and-run crashes and they also have some of the highest numbers of uninsured motorists. Nebraska’s uninsured motorist rate is one of the lowest in the country at almost seven-percent, compared to Florida at nearly 27-percent.