As if it’s not bad enough to get into a traffic accident, imagine getting into one with a hit-and-run driver. That’s the case for tens of thousands of travelers in the State of Florida. According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV), there were roughly 70,000 hit-and-run accidents in the Sunshine State in 2012.
To help combat this problem, officials with the DHSMV are teaming up with the Florida Highway Patrol, the state’s Department of Transportation, the state’s Police of Chiefs Association (FPCA) and the state’s Sheriffs Association to help educate drivers. They want more people to know about their responsibilities in an accident and what exactly the consequences are for leaving the scene.
Our Fort Lauderdale accident attorneys understand that drivers face serious charges, fines and even jail time for leaving the scene of an accident. Still, that’s not stopping drivers. More need to be aware of these consequences to deter this irresponsible act.
“The FPCA and its members are committed to supporting and developing strategies that educate the citizens we serve on ways to make the roadways of Florida a safer place for drivers, pedestrians, motorcyclists and bicyclists,” says Chief Art Bodenheimer with the FPCA.
Do you know what to do if involved in an accident?
-Call police officers. They’re best able to assist you in these situations.
-Stay calm. There’s nothing you can change in the situation be freaking out and letting your emotions get the best of you.
-Attain vehicle, driver and witness information. Use all of your resources to get as much information as you can. This is going to help you when filing an insurance claim.
-Sketch the scene. You want to take note of vehicle crash locations as well as where vehicles are after the collision. Take note of important landmarks and obstacles surrounding the area as well.
-Help the injured. If there was someone injured in the accident, you should help to make sure that they receive the medical attention that they need.
If you leave the scene of an accident where someone is killed, you can be charged with a first-degree felony and can face up to 30 years in jail. If you leave the scene where someone is injured, you can be sentenced with a third-degree felony and can be wind up in jail for 5 years. If you run from an accident where there is only property damage, you’re looking at a misdemeanor of the second degree and you can bank on up to 60 days in jail.
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in an traffic accident, contact Fort Lauderdale Accident Attorney Richard Ansara at 954 761-3641 or toll-free at 877-277-3780 for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your case.
More Blog Entries:
Drivers at Fault in Most Bicycle Accidents, Broward Injury Lawyer Blog, January 31, 2013
Buying a New Car: Don’t Forget to Check the Safety Ratings!, Broward Injury Lawyer Blog, January 13, 2013