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A hit-and-run accident is one of the most horrible examples of people failing to take responsibility for their actions. What started out as a tragic accident often turns into a serious crime when drivers flee from the scene of an auto accident that they caused. And it happens more often than you might think- according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic safety, approximately 11% of police-reported crashes involve a hit-and-run, and such accidents result in the deaths of about 1500 people annually.

So why do so many drivers flee from the scene of accidents that they caused, especially when doing so can get them in much more trouble with the law than if they had just stayed to take responsibility for their actions? The truth is, there are many reasons why people do what they do, and one organization has compiled several possible explanations for this troubling behavior.

Sometimes, the hit-and-run driver is impaired with alcohol or other substances, and flees the scene because he or she is not thinking clearly. Alcohol might also cause someone to flee the scene of an accident for fear of being caught while driving drunk. This is another very good example of why you should never drive under the influence of anything.

Other times, people who are already in trouble with the law might flee the scene of the crime in the hopes that it won’t make their records worse. The issue might be as minor as having an outdated driver’s license, or it may be as serious as having an outstanding warrant for their arrest, but many drivers would rather risk the consequences of a hit-and-run than take responsibility for their past and current actions.

And there are also the people who have nothing to hide from the police, but who are simply afraid of taking responsibility for the accident they just caused. Many factors (such as immaturity, fear, shock, shame, etc) can play into a person’s decision to flee from the scene of the accident.

It is a shame that hit-and-runs happen. If you ever cause an auto accident, or hit a pedestrian while driving, you should take responsibility for your actions. While there will be consequences, they will be much less severe than if you try to flee the scene and are caught. Police understand that accidents do happen, and everything will be much easier for everyone involved if you resist the urge to run.

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