Florida has a major problem with hit-and-run accidents. Drivers who are involved in serious, injurious and even fatal crashes fail to take responsibility for their actions – and risk facing a minimum mandatory four years in prison – by fleeing the scene.
This presents a host of problems for injured victims. The first is that the failure to call for help or render aid results in precious time lost for emergency response that can mean the difference between life and death. Beyond that, survivors may have substantial medical bills, which are compounded by loss of wages and earning potential. Florida’s no-fault insurance typically pays for a small portion of that, but if the driver is not identified, the victims may have no choice but to pursue uninsured motorist coverage through their own insurer. This coverage isn’t mandatory in Florida, but this is one of the main reasons it’s recommended, especially because, as the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles reports, hit-and-run crashes spiked nearly 25 percent from 2013 to 2014.
Now, a recent case out of Port St. Lucie has sparked conversation about whether in-vehicle technology may be useful in preventing hit-and-run accidents or helping to catch perpetrators. According to news reports, a woman was driving a Ford truck when she allegedly rear-ended another driver in a Dodge minivan. But rather than stay at the scene, as required by F.S. 316.027, she allegedly took off. Meanwhile, the woman in the other vehicle was transported to a hospital with back injuries. Continue reading →