How Deadly Are Hit-And-Run Crashes? A Quick Review Of The Data

Over the past few years, there has been a surge in the number of hit-and-run crashes throughout California. According to AAA investigators, fatalities related to hit-and-runs in the Golden State have increased by 60 percent between 2009 and 2016. What many news outlets fail to report, however, is that most hit-and-run crashes don’t result in death or injury. Interestingly, the vast majority of hit-and-runs in the USA only involve property damage.

In this post, we’ll take a deeper dive into the latest statistics related to hit-and-runs in the USA with particular emphasis on California. Hopefully, this info will shed light on this growing public safety issue.


What is a Hit-and-Run?

"After an auto accident, drivers are required to remain at the scene of the crash. Failure to remain at the scene is commonly referred to as a "hit and run." Hit-and-runs are illegal and often result in misdemeanor or felony charges for drivers who flee the scene."


On Average, How Fatal Are Hit-And-Runs?

AAA recently released a report showing hit-and-run fatalities are at their all-time highs across America. Researchers found there were 2,049 deaths related to hit-and-run crashes in 2016, which is significantly higher than any other year on record. The report also notes that the average number of hit-and-runs per year is around 682,000. So, when we divide 2,049 by 682,000, we get a fatality figure of about 3.3 percent.

To bring these stats a little closer to home, a recent study put out by found there were 2,233 hit-and-runs and 22 fatalities in Sacramento between 2017 and 2018. The fatality figure here is slightly lower than the national average at 1 percent.

Interestingly, although Los Angeles has the most hit-and-run fatalities for any Californian city, it has a relatively low fatality percentage. There are now roughly 28,000 hit-and-runs annually in LA, with approximately 230 deaths per year. Dividing 230 by 28,000, we get a fatality rate of just under 1 percent.

How Likely Is It To Get Injured In A Hit-And-Run?

Now that we know a bit more about how common hit-and-run fatalities are let’s turn our attention to injury reports. National data compiled by AAA between 2006 and 2015 shows there’s an average of 146,400 injuries related to hit-and-runs every year. As we already mentioned, AAA estimates there are about 682,000 hit-and-runs annually, so the national injury rate is approximately 21.5 percent.

 In Sacramento, analysts at found that 777 people were injured in hit-and-run crashes between 2007 – 2008.  By dividing this injury figure with the total 2,233 hit-and-run crashes, we get an injury rate of about 34.8 percent in Sacramento. 

What About Hit-And-Runs Involving Property Damage?

As you could see from the statistics above, well over half of all hit-and-run crashes do not result in injury or fatality. Indeed, using the AAA figures listed above, roughly 75 percent of reported hit-and-run crashes only result in property damage.

Interestingly, many of these property-related hit-and-runs occur in broad daylight. Safety experts believe this is the case because most drivers don’t know the proper protocol for these types of crashes. 

While every state has different policies, most require drivers to leave a note on the damaged property with a brief explanation and contact information. To find out more about California’s hit-and-run policies, residents should check out this link to Vehicle Code 20002

Don’t Forget Your Vigilance! Hit-And-Runs Are At All-Time Highs

Although hit-and-run fatalities aren’t as high as property-related cases, that doesn’t mean you should take it easy on the roads. Please keep in mind hit-and-runs are still at peak levels, especially in California. Bicyclists and pedestrians should also be aware they are the most prone to hit-and-run fatalities and injuries. So, whether you’re traveling on or near roads, please take the proper steps to protect yourself.


Hi there! I’m Jordan, chief editor of Crush the Road and I’m a self-confessed automative fanatic. Cars or vehicles has always been a passion of mine and will always be my favorite pastime. Now that I am married and has one adorable son, I have the time to write and share my personal experiences with other automative enthusiasts like me. Welcome to my fantastic blog!

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