Hit-and-run deaths hit record high, says AAA - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Hit-and-run deaths hit record high, says AAA

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Hit-and-run crashes have reached a record level in the U.S., according to AAA.

Thursday, the auto club released research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

It said more than one hit-and-run crash occurs every minute.

There were more than 2,000 deaths in 2016, which is a 60-percent increase since 2009, according to AAA.

The research cited University of Connecticut crash data for state statistic. In Connecticut, it said 68 people have been killed in hit-and-run crashes since the start of 2015 and another 371 victims suffered serious injuries.

The data showed that there were 31 deaths in the state in 2016 alone.

"There have already been eight serious or fatal hit-and-run crashes in Connecticut this year and soon more pedestrians and cyclists will be out enjoying the spring weather," said Amy Parmenter, spokesperson for AAA in greater Hartford. "It's critical that we all look out for one another."

AAA said most victims of deadly hit-and-runs, 65 percent, are either pedestrians or bicyclists.

“Hit-and-run crashes in the United States are trending in the wrong direction,” said Dr. David Yang, executive director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. “Our analysis shows that hit-and-run crashes are a growing traffic safety challenge and the AAA Foundation would like to work with all stakeholders to help curtail this problem.”

AAA urged drivers to be aware that pedestrians may act unpredictably, be cautious to look out for children in school zones and bus stops, be patient when waiting for people to cross streets and be vigilant to always yield to pedestrians.

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