More people on the roadway in North Carolina means more vehicle crashes, but also more hit-and-runs. A report from AAA Carolinas says that, nationally, hit-and-runs have increased 7 percent every year since 2009.
That might be in part because of population and job growth, according to Sergeant Chris Knox of the North Carolina Highway Patrol.
“When the economy's up, we see more crashes, 'cause more people are driving and have the money to buy gas and to travel, we do tend to see spikes in crashes in general,” Knox said. “As our crashes go up, obviously the hit-and-runs would mirror that, but it still doesn't answer that big question on, how someone could be involved and leave, or why they would be involved and leave.”
Knox said a hit-and-run can include any un-reported collision causing $1,000 worth of damage or impacting a cyclist or pedestrian. The AAA Carolinas report says 56 of last year’s hit-and-runs in the state were fatal.
“It does cover a large range of types of collisions we would investigate, but it comes down to the fact that you had a party that did not stay or did not report the collision to law enforcement.” Knox said.