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How many hit-and-runs get caught and how many hit-and-runs get solved?

How many hit-and-runs get caught and how many hit-and-runs get solved?

The USA experiences more than 7 million car accidents yearly. According to Forbes, more than 46,000 Americans perish in car accidents yearly. From the same data source, it is estimated that the traffic fatality of Americans is nearly 12 deaths per 100,000 people.

According to current statistics, there were at least 737,000 hit-and-run accidents in the USA in the year 2016. This translates to at least 1 hit and run death after every 43 seconds In the USA.

According to police reports, a large proportion of hit-and-run perpetrators are never found, so many cases of hit-and-run car accidents usually remain unsolved. So, the question is, How many hit-and-runs get caught and how many hit-and-runs get solved?

Page Contents

Understanding Hit and Run Accidents

Definition of a hit-and-run accident

A hit-and-run is a type of car accident where one of the drivers flees the accident scene without rendering assistance to the injured or exchanging his/her personal information with another party.

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From current statistics in the USA, there is at least 1 hit and run in every 25 reported car accidents. According to my research, your probability of getting hit by a car is 366 per 10,000 miles driven.

Statistics on the frequency of hit-and-run accidents

Hit-and-run accidents occur every day all over the world. I already told you how there is a hit-and-run accident every 40-47 minutes in the USA. For example, in 2016, there were more than 2,049 fatalities in the USA due to hit-and-run accidents.

Factors Affecting the Likelihood of Being Caught 

Factors that affect the likelihood of a hit-and-run driver getting caught

There are several factors that can affect the likelihood of a hit-and-run driver getting caught. These include the presence of witnesses, surveillance footage, and physical evidence at the scene of the accident.

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Additionally, if the driver is identified and their vehicle is distinctive or traceable, it may increase the chances of them getting caught. If the police are notified quickly and able to respond to the scene quickly, it can increase the chances of identifying the driver.

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Finally, the quality of the investigation is also important. what I need to tell you is that many cases of minor hit and runs are neglected by police.

The role of eyewitnesses in identifying hit-and-run suspects

As for any other conflict, you need to prove beyond clear and convincing to be able to hold someone liable for a hit-and-run case. 

One of the ways you could win a hit-and-run case is by getting as many witnesses as possible, though this is very impossible. Witness statements will help you and your attorney to build a strong case against the hit-and-run perpetrator. 

But, is getting witness easy? well, the answer is no. For example, Joseph a resident of Los Angels suffered a hit-and-run and was rushed into the hospital. Later, the police told joseph his hit-and-run case will never be solved because he had no concrete evidence. 

“None of the people that were present at the scene saw the license plates, nor car make, and model”, Joseph says. “All possible witnesses concentrated on seeing how the accident took place, for instance how the other driver foolishly swapped lanes”, continued Joseph.

So, if you are a victim of a hit and run, make sure you note down what you remember very quickly. Also, let the bystanders try to remember anything and note everything that they tell you. You do not want to wait and forget even the color of the car. 

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To be frank, the exact number of hit and run incidents that get caught is difficult to determine as it can vary depending on several factors such as the severity of the incident, the location, and the resources available to law enforcement.

 However, it is generally acknowledged that hit-and-run incidents are under-reported and under-prosecuted, and many offenders go unpunished. In fact, only 8-10% of hit-and-run offenders are caught and cases solved.

According to a study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, about 11% of hit-and-run crashes that resulted in injury or death were solved by the police. This number is likely to be lower for hit-and-run incidents that only resulted in property damage.

The use of surveillance footage in solving hit-and-run cases

Another valuable piece of evidence is the use of car accident footage. Your Dashcam or any camera nearby could have captured the accident and it should help you iron out liability issues. 

Having surveillance footage saves you the task of remembering things and also clearly shows any traffic violations the other party or you committed.

The importance of reporting a hit-and-run accident as soon as possible

Every driver is required by law to report car accidents he/she is involved in, and hit-and-runs are no exception. 

It is important to report a hit-and-run accident as soon as possible just because the other driver is likely to deny and claim he/she was somewhere else at the time of the accident. 

You also want the police to arrive in time and complete a car accident report which will help you in kick-starting your settlement process. 

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Should the police fail to locate the other driver who committed the hit and run, you only have one option of getting compensated by your own car insurance. 

You will need to file a compensation claim against your uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, and also through a collision car insurance policy if you have one.

Technology and Resources for Catching Offenders 

The role of technology in catching hit-and-run offenders, such as license plate readers and GPS tracking

Technology plays a significant role in catching hit-and-run offenders. License plate readers, which are cameras mounted on police cars or on fixed poles, can automatically scan and read license plates as they pass. 

This data is then compared against a database of stolen cars or cars associated with wanted individuals for instance hit and run offenders. If a match is found, the police can be alerted and take action.

GPS tracking can also be used to track the movements of a vehicle that is suspected of being involved in a hit-and-run. This can be done by placing a GPS device on the vehicle or by using the GPS data from a phone or other device that is in the vehicle. This can help police to track the vehicle and identify the driver.

Additionally, modern cameras and surveillance technology can also be used to identify and track the movements of vehicles and individuals, which can be used to investigate hit-and-run cases. 

It’s important to note that these technologies should be used within the boundaries of laws and regulations, and be in compliance with Privacy regulations.

The use of social media in identifying hit-and-run suspects

Social media can be used as a tool to identify hit-and-run suspects in several ways. 

For example, witnesses or victims of the hit-and-run may post about the incident on social media, providing information about the suspect or the vehicle involved. This information can then be used by law enforcement to track down the suspect.

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Another way social media can be used is through the use of surveillance footage or photos taken by witnesses or victims. These can be shared on social media, where they may be seen by someone who recognizes the suspect or the vehicle. This person can then come forward with information that can help identify the suspect.

Additionally, social media can also be used for investigation by Law Enforcement agencies, where they can use various techniques like facial recognition, image search, and data mining to identify hit-and-run perpetrators.

The Consequences of Getting Caught 

The process of tracking down and charging a hit-and-run suspect

The consequences of getting caught for a hit-and-run offense include paying fines, suspension or revocation of your driving license, and at worst jail time.

Here is an example. James from Wisconsin was nabbed by police following a hit-and-run accident in which no death nor injuries occurred. James ended up paying a fine of $500 and went to prison for 3 months.

According to, the penalties for a hit and run where there are no injuries or deaths involve paying fines, jail time, and license suspension. 


The number of hit-and-runs that get caught and solved varies, but technology and community participation can aid law enforcement in solving these complex crimes.

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