car accident, hit and run, personal injuries

Do most hit and run drivers get caught?

Do most hit-and-run drivers get caught?

On our roads, hit-and-run incidents pose a severe danger, often leaving victims seriously hurt and their families in ruins. The fact is that the motorist frequently flees the scene after one of these accidents, leaving the victim to handle the consequences alone, which is one of the tragedies’ most upsetting features. 

Whether or not these hit-and-run drivers be apprehended and punished is the question on many people’s minds.

Have you ever seen a hit-and-run accident and questioned whether the driver would ever be apprehended? You’re not the only one who wonders whether hit-and-run drivers will ever be held accountable. 

In this post, we’ll look more closely at hit-and-run accident data and the initiatives being taken to make it more likely that hit-and-run motorists will be caught.

We’ll look at the difficulties that law enforcement has in locating these offenders, as well as the tools and methods that are being employed to increase the likelihood of a successful arrest. 

I will also seek to throw light on the actions being done to make our roads safer for everyone by developing a greater understanding of the problem. Alright, let’s go now.

Page Contents

What is a Hit-and-Run Accident? 

The term hit-and-run is self-explanatory. It simply refers to a road traffic accident in which one of the offenders (drivers) flees the accident scene without sharing his contact and personal information. 

According to traffic laws, every driver is required to stop at the scene of the accident and share personal and contact information. By law, you are required to share your name, address location, and contact details. 

personal injuries, hit and run, car accident injuries

You are also required to share with the other driver(s) your insurance policy coverages, car registration, and license plate number. You are once again required by law to offer assistance if any person is injured as a result of the accident. 

Failure to observe the above-mentioned implies you have committed a hit and run and the penalties for a hit and run include a couple of months of jail time, fines, and suspension/revocation of your driver’s license.

Possible causes of hit-and-run car accidents

The causes of hit-and-run accidents are very many. Some of these are:

1. Alcohol or drunk driver. According to drunk driving statistics, at least more than 30-40 people in the USA die every day due to drunk driving. And from my own personal studies, I estimated that at least more than 2.7 drivers in the USA have had a previous citation due to a DUI.

Learn more: What happens if someone else is driving my car and gets in an accident? | car insurance policies

2. Lack of insurance coverage. More than 98% of states in the USA require every driver to carry at least liability car insurance coverage. From personal studies done recently, I discovered that at least 14% of drivers in the USA are uninsured or underinsured.

Such drivers are more likely to drive recklessly or irresponsibly hence causing hit-and-run accidents.

3. Outstanding citations and tickets. Such drivers with traffic violations are not likely to stop by once they are involved in a car crash. They fear traffic officers will run their driver’s license information and be arrested for previous violations.

4. Other legal problems. If the driver is suspended, on parole, or not a citizen of the country, he/she will likely choose not to stop by after a car accident.

5. Fear and bad decisions. It’s our natural instinct to flee once we are faced with challenging situations. This, combined with a lack of information could result in the driver fleeing the accident scene. 

police, arrest, handcuffs, car accident offense, hit and run, felony, misdemeanor
police, arrest, handcuffs, car accident offense, hit and run, felony, misdemeanor

Hit and run statistics you need to know

Hit-and-run accidents are on the rise every year due to the ever-increasing number of cars on the road. From my own research, the following are Shocking Facts About Hit-And-Run Crashes you need to know.

1. Hit and run accounts for more than 5% of all auto accidents reported yearly. The USA sees more than 7.5 million auto accidents yearly, and it is estimated that more than 700,000 crashes are hit and run.

2. From other reliable data, hit-and-run accidents are on the rise. Reports have shown that their hit-and-runs have been increasing by 7.2% yearly in the USA.

Learn more: What happens if someone else is driving my car and gets in an accident? | car insurance policies

3. Of all reported pedestrian fatalities, hit and run accounts for 20% of pedestrian deaths every year in the USA.

4. Bicyclists and pedestrians are the most killed in hit-and-runs. Statistics have shown that of all people that die due to hit-and-runs, 68% are bicyclists and pedestrians. 

5. Just like I already told you, it is estimated that more than 0.7 million hit-and-run accidents are registered in the USA yearly.

How Often are Hit-and-Run Drivers Caught? 

Just like any civil case, catching and holding the liable person in a hit-and-run accident is never easy. First, of all, you will need a clear and convincing piece of evidence to hold the hit-and-run offender accountable. 

Because the other driver usually flees away at the brink of an eye, gathering the required evidence is always hard. For instance, the hit-and-driver may never be caught if the victim knows nothing about the license plate number, or saw the person physically.

All in all The frequency of hit-and-run drivers being apprehended varies and is influenced by numerous factors. However, it is becoming simpler for investigators to identify and track down hit-and-run offenders with the use of technology and laws.

What Percentage of Hit and Runs Are Solved?

“One of the accidents that are hard to solve is a hit and run”, says Jackson a police officer. “This is because there is no sufficient evidence and leads required to hunt down hit-and-run offenders”, continues Jackson.

Dash cam, hit and run

According to hit-and-run statistics, only 5-10% of hit-and-run accident perpetrators are apprehended and cases solved. This implies that more than 90% of hit and runs remain unsolved. 

If the hit-and-run case reported is a minor case where only property damage or minor injuries were incurred, most likely the police may choose not to investigate the case. Police would rather allocate their energies and resources to severe cases of hit-and-runs. 

What needs to be done after a hit-and-run?

Just like any car crashthere are certain things you need to do after every car accident including hit and runs. Specific to hit-and-run car accidents, please do the following immediately after the crash.

1. Call 911 to report the accident to the police and get medical help if there are personal injuries involved in the accident.

2. Try as much as possible to get the license plate number of the other driver’s car, model, color, and make of the car. These are the key pieces of evidence you will need to help police pursue the case. 

3. Take photos of the accident scene, its surroundings, and any damages or injuries sustained. 

4. Gather any information from eyewitnesses. You will need to use your phone to record statements, and if possible get their contacts.

5. Invite police to the accident scene to compile a car accident/crash reportOptionally, you may walk to the nearby police post and compile the crash report, or use online crash reporting services.

6. Inform your insurance company right away. The chances of getting compensation from the hit-and-run offender are so slim. You will likely file your compensation claim through your own insurance company. 

7. Get medical attention right away. Your compensation from any insurance coverage will largely depend on your personal injuries and medical bills.

car accident report

How Can You Help a Hit-and-Run Investigation? 

Yes, you can help a hit-and-run investigation by gathering important pieces of evidence and pinning the other driver. More than 89% of all hit-and-run cases are not investigated by police due to lack of evidence, as Jackson pointed out.

Whether you are a victim, witness, or any person whose camera/Dash Cam captured the hit-and-run scene, turning in the evidence you have to the police will help a lot.

Related article: I caught an accident on my dash cam. I turned the footage over to the police. Now the party that was at fault is suing me. What should I do?

You could choose to use social media, and or ask the police to turn in the evidence secretly if you fear being attacked by the offenders.

How Police Investigate Hit-and-Run Cases

In normal circumstances, police or any other authorities are supposed to investigate every case of reported hit and run. But, this is not always true. 

If the reported case of hit and run is a severe one, for instance, if there were severe injuries and or deaths, yes, expect this case to be aggressively investigated by police. Such cases of severe hit-and-run remain open forever and police will allocate more resources and time to look for the offenders.

On the other hand, if the reported hit-and-run case is a minor one, most likely it won’t be investigated by police unless there is clear evidence and leads. The police expect the parties to the minor hit and run to get compensated by the insurance company and therefore won’t bother.

Do most hit-and-run drivers get caught?

Most hit-and-run drivers are never caught. The reason why most hit-and-run drivers are not caught is because of a lack of sufficient pieces of evidence.

This is the very reason why it is recommended that every driver buy full insurance coverage. You will need to buy policies like Collision coverage and underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage to guard against hit-and-run related losses. 

personal injuries, car accident, hit and run

For hit-and-run offenders, I recommend buying enough liability car insurance coverage. This coverage helps in compensating people whose car you damaged and any injuries they incurred due to the accident you caused.

I committed a hit and run how long will it take for the police to find me?

If you committed a major hit-and-run accident, your case will stay forever open meaning the police will forever hunt for you! Of course, this increases the chances of finding you.

There is also a likelihood an eyewitness saw your car license plate number, or a nearby security camera or a dash camera recorded the accident scene. 

Should the police get sufficient evidence or lead, it will only take police hours to at least 30 days to find you. I highly recommend turning yourself in if you think the police have a higher chance of finding you.

On the other hand, police may never find you if you committed a minor hit and run and also if there is no evidence that pins you to the hit and run case.

what evidence is needed to convict a hit-and-run?

Convicting a hit-and-run motorist can be challenging since it frequently depends on accumulating sufficient evidence to identify and track down the offender. Several of the forms of evidence listed below could be applied in a hit-and-run case:

1. You will need to prove that the accident happened and you suffered injuries or car damages from the same accident.

2. You will also need to show evidence that the defendant was the driver of the car.

3. You also need to show evidence that the defendant knew or should have known that the accident happened.

4. You also need to show that the defendant willingly refused to stop at the hit-and-run scene.

5. You also need evidence to prove the damages you suffered were due to the same accident.


Do most hit-and-run drivers get caught? The answer is no. Most hit-and-run drivers are not caught. In fact, at least 10% of the hit-and-run drivers are caught and held liable for the accident.

However, if you committed a severe hit and run, the chances of catching you are high because the case will stay open and police will forever be looking for you.

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