Recent Florida statistics show that about 1 in every four car crashes involve a hit-and-run. In the Tampa Bay area in 2014, there were over 10,000 hit-and-run accidents, of which 33 involved fatalities. In Hillsborough county alone there were 7 pedestrian fatalities in hit-and-run accidents. This number is increasing over the last few years and the Florida Highway Patrol is making its agenda to lower these numbers of hit-and-run accidents.
Additionally, there are steps that individuals can do to protect themselves from hit-and-run drivers. First, try to get as much information about the other driver’s vehicle such as the license plate, make and model, color, etc. Next, call the police and report this incident. Hopefully, the police will be able to use this information to find the hit-and-run driver.
In some cases, though, the hit-and-run driver is never able to be located. This is particularly troublesome when the hit-and-run results in injuries. Fortunately, in Florida, car insurance companies offer what is known as Uninsured Motorist coverage. Uninsured Motorist coverage is car insurance, through your own policy, that protects you in situations where another driver is at-fault for the collision, causes injuries to you, and either can’t be located (such as in a hit-and-run), does not have insurance, or does not have adequate insurance. In these situations, if you have Uninsured Motorist coverage, your car insurance will step in and provide you coverage in place of this uninsured motorist.
With this staggering data indicating such a high frequency of hit-and-run accidents in Florida and Tampa Bay, protecting yourself with Uninsured Motorist coverage is highly recommended.