A report finds deadly hit-and-run crashes are on the rise across the country and in Iowa. Rose White, spokeswoman for AAA-Iowa, says their research finds there’s another hit-and-run crash every minute nationwide.
“Between 2006 through 2016, there were 93 hit-and-run crashes reported in Iowa that involved at least one fatality,” White says. She urges motorists to be cautious — and courteous to other drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists.
“If you drive a large pickup truck or SUV, those with the extended mirrors, use extra caution when sharing the road with bicyclists or when driving near pedestrians,” White says. “Some of these mirrors extend a foot-and-a-half from the side of the vehicle and can pose a deadly threat to any of those sharing the roadway.” The AAA study finds nearly 65% of people killed in hit-and-run crashes are pedestrians or bicyclists. For those on foot or on bikes, White urges them to avoid distractions and stay alert.
“Be aware of your surroundings and be aware of those extra dangers that can pose a threat, especially for vehicles that might be turning right on a red light,” White says. “Use caution whenever you’re near the roadway. This means staying off your cell phone if you’re a pedestrian.” Since 2009, the number of deaths resulting from hit-and-run crashes has risen more than seven-percent each year. Florida and New Mexico are among the worst states for hit-and-run crashes and they also have some of the highest numbers of uninsured motorists.
Iowa’s uninsured motorist rate is one of the lowest in the country at almost 9%, compared to Florida at nearly 27%.