Facts and Statistics for Media Researchers

About this Site

Site Directory of Pages - Directory
Info on purpose of the site and bio of webmaster - Why the Site
Common causes on why drivers run - see Why Drivers Run
Daily Fatalities - Daily News
Photo's of Victims  (includes some of more famous hit and run cases) - Faces of Victims
Memorials - Memories
Available for phone interviews - Inquire  (your e-mail address is always kept confidential)

Video interview - by Perils of Pedestrians episode 108 on Google Video here

This site has been mentioned or referred to in articles published in the following media outlets....we appreciate the site being mentioned but more importantly, the attention these writers are bringing to this problem.

Long Island Press  Cover story about Hit and Run Accidents and local victims Published January 6, 2005
The Scottsdale Times  Cover story about Hit and Run Accidents and local victims Published
June 5, 2005
New York Daily News 3 part series about Hit and Run Accidents and local victims Published June 12-14, 2005 Part 1 2 3
The Ocala Star-Banner The Leader Story about a local victim Published March 30, 2006

(articles are usually moved into archives after a certain period and the links above may no longer work)

Sept 14, 2005 KCOY / © 2005 Clear Chanel Communications

"San Luis Obispo Police say reports of hit and runs increased 160 percent over last year. Santa Maria Police expect 2005 to exceed the 470 reported cases they took last year. And Santa Barbara Police say more than a quarter of all reported traffic accidents are hit and runs."

5/1/2005  ....1,557 killed nationwide in hit and run crashes in 2003, according to a new analysis by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.....The AAA Foundation analysis showed that approximately 11 percent of all police reported crashes involve a hit and run driver, and that the problem is especially alarming for pedestrians. "About 60 percent of the people killed in hit and run crashes are pedestrians," said Peter Kissinger, President and CEO of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, adding that "1 in 5 pedestrian fatalities involve hit and run drivers." From 1994 to 2003, a total of 14,914 people were killed in hit and run crashes in the United States, according to the Foundation's analysis of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Fatality Analysis Reporting System and General Estimates System databases. "Deadly hit and run crashes most often occur on weekends and during the evening," said Peter Kissinger. Fifty-eight percent of fatal hit and run crashes occur on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday; forty-seven percent of fatal hit and run crashes occur between 9 p.m. and 3 a.m.


General Facts about Fatal Hit and Run Accidents

Tuesday, April 22, 2003 Nearly one in five pedestrians (18%) killed on America's roadways is the victim of a hit-and-run crash, according to a major research report released today by the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety. (complete report)

  • In 2003, 4,827 pedestrians were killed by vehicles.

  • In last 10 years, 51,989 have died.

  • Senior citizens, African-American and Latino pedestrians suffer a fatality rate well in excess of the population at large.  

  • Walking is by far the most dangerous mode of travel per mile. Although only 8.6 percent of all trips are made on foot, 11.4 percent of all traffic deaths are pedestrians. And while the 2001 fatality rate per 100 million miles traveled is 0.75 for public transit riders, 1.3 for drivers and their passengers, 7.3 for passengers of commercial airlines, the fatality rate for walkers is an astonishing 20.1 deaths per 100 million miles walked.
    (report summary)

Hit-run deaths see 20% increase
Updated 10/17/2006
By Brad Heath, USA TODAY

The number of pedestrians killed by hit-and-run drivers has jumped 20% since 2000 and is at its highest level in a decade, a USA TODAY analysis shows......Of the 4,881 pedestrians killed last year, 974 died in hit-and-runs, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration records show. The total number of pedestrians killed nationwide increased by about 2% since 2000, but hit-and-run deaths increased at almost 10 times that pace, the USA TODAY analysis found. article here

11/7/2005 London (Reuters) - Up to 50 percent of motorists who damaged a parked car would drive away without leaving contact details if they thought they could get away with it, according to findings from an insurance company.

A survey of 1,300 motorists also found that half had already been the victim of people dubbed "Road Runners" by insurers, Cornhill Direct said on Monday.

Government figures suggest the trend is growing.

Just under 30,000 people were prosecuted in 2003 for various offences related to failing to stop, provide details or report an accident, a rise of 4 percent on 2002 and 11 percent higher than 2000.

The survey also found that women were more likely to stop and leave details than men and that younger drivers were least likely to do the right thing.

Cornhill Direct said all drivers were paying an extra 30 pounds a year on their policies to pay for the damage and injury caused by untraced and uninsured drivers.

"Comprehensively insured motorists can claim on their own policy but many will risk losing their No Claims Discount," Cornhill Direct's Ian Firth said.

"For the 20 percent of policyholders who are not comprehensively insured, they have little choice but to go to the Motor Insurers' Bureau (MIB) for compensation," Firth said in a statement.

Last year the MIB paid out 78.2 million pounds dealing with more than 17,500 untraced-driver claims from motorists.

Surface Transportation Policy Project releases report listing deadliest cities for pedestrians... - #1 Orlando, FL #2 Tampa-St. Petersburg, FL #3 West Palm Beach-Boca Raton, FL #4 Miami-Fort Lauderdale, FL #5 Memphis, TN #6 Atlanta, GA #7 Greensboro, NC #8 Houston, TX #9 Jacksonville, FL #10 Phoenix, AZ (taken from executive summary) (complete report)

Media Personnel as victims of hit and run

*  10-7-05  85-year-old retired radio newsman John "Jack" McMullen killed in Uniontown, Pensylvania by hit and run pizza driver, who had no drivers license.
*   7-8-05  Local Jacksonville DJ Rich Langlois was riding his motorcycle when a car making an illegal U-turn, struck him. Rich survived the crash, but a quadriplegic, paralyzed from the chest down.
* 12-12-04 Sade Baderinwa, co-anchor for New York's WABC Eyewitness News, returned to work today after spending nearly 6 months recovering from serious injuries received in a hit and run accident on 7/23/2004. Sade was about to go live and report on flooding when a hit and run driver struck her and fled.
*  12-7-04  Heja Hahn, mother to KING 4 news reporter Elisa Hahn, killed by hit and run driver in Seattle, WA
* 7-30-04  Kathleen Rhodes, a reporter for KGPE, Channel 47, Fresno, California - suffers a broken neck in hit and run automobile accident. She previously worked for "Dateline NBC," "The Today Show" and at WVTM in Birmingham, AL
* 10-24-03 UNC Tar Heel Sports reporter Stephan Gates killed by hit and run drivers. Driver captured - prosecutor unable to win conviction.
* 10-24-00  Steve Schoenfeld, who covered the NFL for CBS SportsLine after years as a reporter for newspapers in Phoenix, Dallas, Tulsa and his native Kansas, was killed in Tempe, Ariz., by a hit-and-run driver. Schoenfeld, 45, was a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America.
*   11-3-1996  Photo-journalist Carl Viti, 52, killed by a hit and run driver while bicycling. Worked for the  Honolulu Advertiser.

Why is tragedy defined as multiple deaths happening all on one day, while one death repeating itself daily is a problem?

Incidents of hit and run on the rise - nearly 11 in 100 accidents is a hit and run - press release  (nearly 4% of all fatalities nationwide are hit and run / 18% of pedetrian fatalities)

We spend millions of dollars each year making vehicles safer to increase the survivability of occupants and drivers in case of a crash, yet for every air bag the automotive industry adds, it adds a GPS, a DVD player, computers, larger sound systems - all to take the drivers attention off the road. We spend millions to protect drivers, but God help the other guy, cause he has too many gadgets now to play with too pay attention to the road.  

Official Study conducted in 1995

The hit-and-run in fatal pedestrian accidents: victims, circumstances and drivers.
Sara J. Solnick and David Hemenway
Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02116, USA
Report here
 (Abstract is free / pdf article is $15)  as it appeared in Accident Analysis & Prevention Volume 27, Issue 5 , October 1995, Pages 643-649

Courtesy San Francisco Chronicle

A study published by Mercury News on 3/28/03, revealed that 40% of accidents involving pedestrians in San Jose, California, was by a hit and run driver.


On average......

73 people are killed in the US annually by lightning (NWS - 30 year average)
120 people are killed in the US annually in plane crashes (based over19 year period)
35 people are killed in the US annually in skydiving accidents (USPA - 10 year average)
42 people are killed annually by tornadoes (Dupont web site - other sites quote same # from NWS but unable to find on NWS site)
between 15 and 20 people will die annually in the US from dog bites (CDC as quoted by Animal Behavior Associates)
approx 350 children under 5 years of age will drown in US swimming pools (CPSC, Doc 5097)
approx 40 people will die each year from insect stings (Joint Council of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology)
6 people in the US will die from snake bites (University of Michigan Health System Pediatric Advisor 2005)
approx 200 will die in deer related car crashes (CDC report - 2004)
37 skiers or snow boarders die annually (NSAA 2002)
22 school-age children fatalities per year in school transportation related crashes (NTSA)

Between 1986 and 1995 approximately 6000 pedestrians were killed annually (an estimated 18% of these will be victims of hit and run drivers) (40% of all pedestrian fatalities happen in California, Florida, Texas, and New York) (for every pedestrian killed by a car, 15 others are injured)

Statistics published from various news agencies

2/17/06 WSMV Nashville Reported by Jeremy Finley
A recent overnight hit and run incident in Donelson joined the estimated 400 such crimes each month in Nashville. And of those hit-and-runs, traffic investigators say only two percent are ever solved.

8/9/2005 Chicago Sun Times by Lisa Donovan
In 2003, 35 people were killed and 18 seriously wounded in Chicago hit-and-runs. In 2004, 39 died and 22 injured in such crashes. At least 25 have died so far this year.

6/5/2005 Green Bay Press-Gazette by Andy Nelesen
Seventy percent of all criminal traffic cases in Brown County (Wisconsin) court during the last 28 months involve someone who was driving with a revoked driver’s license.Seventy percent of all criminal traffic cases in Brown County court during the last 28 months involve someone who was driving with a revoked driver’s license. (A leading cause of hit and run drivers fleeing, Wisconsin is in the process of decriminalizing first offenses)

1/17/05 San Francisco Examiner by Alison Soltau
In San Francisco, there were 46 traffic fatalities in 2004. Approximately 1/3 were hit and run and only 40% of these had been solved at the time of the article.

1/26/05 The News Guard by Chad Richins
293 total crashes in Lincoln City, Oregon in 2004. Of these 163 were non-injury, 48 involved injuries and 82 were hit-and-run (28%)

8/28/02 Citypages.com by Paul Demko
Reinhardt further notes that the Minneapolis Police Department deals with about 4,700 hit-and-run accidents a year. Twenty percent of the time, he estimates, one of the vehicles involved is later reported as stolen. But when the investigation is over, according to Reinhardt, that alibi only proves to be true about two percent of the time. "The legitimate [claims] we have are very low," he maintains. "The reason people run from accidents is that they are either drunk or they don't have insurance or they have some problem with their driver's license or registration." The police often get calls from citizens reporting a stolen vehicle, he says, and, lo and behold, the same car was found wrapped around a tree at 4:00 earlier that same morning. "You don't have to be Columbo to figure out what happened there."

2/26/04 KABC-TV Consumer News
The unfortunate thing in Los Angeles is that we've seen a huge surge in hit and run accidents for many reasons, there are a lot of unlicensed drivers on the road, and we estimate that about 22 percent of drivers in California aren't licensed. This is not just un-insured these are the not licensed. A National Highway Traffic Safety Administration study found hit and run accidents in California have increased by 17 percent over the last 5 years. That is higher than the national increase.

1/21/05 Augusta Chronicle by Dena Levitz
Richmond County has so many hit-and-run vehicle accidents that three corporals with the sheriff's office work full time tracking down the offenders. In 2004, more than 1,300 hit-and-runs were reported in the county, which accounts for about a fifth of all road wrecks, said Cpl. Darrell Grooms, one of two officers who work hit-and-run cases in the Northgate substation. "We'll go to training classes, and other officers will sound surprised and say, 'You have a whole hit-and-run department?'" Cpl. Grooms said. "It's a large problem for us." Columbia County had 125 hit-and-run accidents in 2004, about one-tenth of Richmond County's figure. Luckily, there have been no fatalities resulting from the accidents during the past three years, but almost 100 people have been injured in Richmond County, said Cpl. Danny Whitehead, the hit-and-run investigator in south Augusta. Most of the drivers flee the scene because they either don't have insurance or a valid driver's license; they have been drinking alcohol; or there are warrants for their arrest, Cpl. Grooms said. "The majority of drivers fit into these four categories," he said. "A lot would have been charged with less if they just stayed at the scene." In some cases, though, teenagers will crash into other vehicles. The teens usually have proper insurance and a Georgia driver's license but don't want their parents to find out about the wreck, so they speed off. Other times, an elderly driver might accidentally hit a fixed object or another car and not realize it, Cpl. Grooms said.

Indianapolis Police Department Statistics for 2003
Thousands of accidents are investigated each year by IPD personnel. In 2003, there were
7085 Property Damage Accidents
1799 Property Damage Hit and Run Accidents
2569 Personal Injury Accidents
343 Personal Injury Hit and Run Accidents
167Accidents Involving Pedestrians
126 Accidents Involving Bicycles
21 Deaths in Fatality Accidents

4/27/01 Las Vegas Review-Journal by Michael Squires
Statistics provided by the Nevada Department of Transportation show that over the past three years hit-and-run accidents have risen 45 percent in Clark County, from 2,395 in 1998 to 3,466 in 2000. ...One factor, according to Las Vegas police Det. Doug Nutton, is immigration from countries where police are feared or the penalties for being involved in a crash are more severe than they are here. "A little is what people bring from their own particular culture," he said.

1/26/05 The News Guard  by Chad Richins
It was a dangerous year for drivers in Lincoln City. According to statistics released on Monday by Police Chief Ernie Hanson, motor vehicle accidents in the city rose 71 percent in 2004, from 171 in 2003 to 293. Of the 2004 crashes, 163 were non-injury, 48 involved injuries and 82 were hit-and-run.

3/11/05 Orlando Sentinel by Laurin Sellers
There are no statewide statistics for unsolved hit-and-run fatalities, but since 2001 there have been at least 11 unsolved cases in Orange County alone, Florida Highway Patrol spokeswoman Kim Miller said. On average, pedestrians are killed in hit-and-run accidents in Florida once every 3½ days, officials say. Nationwide, 964 pedestrians were killed in such accidents in 2003, federal officials say, with 104 of them in Florida.

4/13/05 KZTV   Corpus Christi, TX
Six fatal hit and runs last year and three so far this year.

5/17/05 New York Daily News
In 2004, there were 41 deadly hit-and-run accidents in the city. Sixteen remain unsolved.

2/4/2006 Fox 11 Tucson, Arizona
There were a total of 14 pedestrian fatalities in the city last year, including six hit-and-runs.

Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) Web-Based Encyclopedia

The first recorded death involving a motor vehicle was 8/17/1896 when mother of 2, 44 year old Bridget Driscoll, was struck and killed in London, England. The first recorded death in the US was 9/13/1899, when Henry Bliss was killed in New York City. Both victims were pedestrians. The first recorded injury accident in the US was on 5/20/1896, also in New York City, when a vehicle struck bicyclist Evelyn Thomas. She became the first hospitilized auto victim and the driver, Henry Wells, the first driver arrested.


Deadly Roads - Hit and Run Accidents

R-TT Data Recovery