Charlotte is learning the number of hit and run deaths are at the highest ever in the U.S. The new research from AAA shows more than 2,000 people died in 2016.
New Mexico has the highest rate of 31 hit-and-run crashes resulting in death in 2016, a 47 percent jump from the year before. In California, there were 337 hit-and-run crashes involving at least one fatality in 2016, the latest year with available data.
Dr. David Yang, executive director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, says these crashes are a growing traffic safety challenge.
And it's not just the drivers being irresponsible - 34 percent of pedestrians killed in hit-and-runs were found to have a blood alcohol concentration level more than 0.08, according to a 2017 study.
Deadly hit-and-run crashes are on the rise in the United States, according to a new study by AAA.
Seiter said awareness is the best way to avoid a crash with someone who may be walking or riding a bike, which people are doing more with warmer weather. Poor weather conditions were not shown to be reliable predictors of the same type of hit-and-run crash.
It said more than one hit-and-run crash occurs every minute.
"There have already been eight serious or fatal hit-and-run crashes in CT this year and soon more pedestrians and cyclists will be out enjoying the spring weather", said Amy Parmenter, spokesperson for AAA in greater Hartford. "There's a law in every state that it is illegal to leave the scene of a crash".
While some accidents are unavoidable, AAA says the best way to avoid hitting pedestrians and bicyclists is by using common sense.
Be visible - Make sure that the scene is visible to approaching drivers. They also warn people to pull over to the shoulder of the road immediately if they get involved in a hit-and-run. If found guilty, drivers can face large fines, lose their license or spend time in prison. If the police do not come to the scene, you can file a report by visiting a local police department or your automobile insurance agency.
Thursday, the auto club released research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. Visit AAA.com for more information.