The headlines are not misleading you: Hit-and-run crashes are on the rise this year. Overall, according to a piece in this morning’s Philadelphia Daily News, the number of crashes are up when compared to this time last year.
Even people who spend their days trying to solve hit-and-runs can’t truly explain why there have been so many in 2015:http://t.co/EInJpQwFpu
— Vinny Vella (@Vellastrations) August 12, 2015
Crime reporter Vinny Vella did quite a bit of digging to figure out why that is—and what can be done about it.
In so doing, he spoke to everyone from Philly police to a Drexel psychologist to Sarah Clark Stuart, Deputy Director at the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia.
“We need a shift in thinking about it,” said Stuart, the deputy director of the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia. “We shouldn’t be calling any of these crashes accidents. They’re mistakes that people made that unfortunately have very deleterious consequences.”
The story’s conclusion is about as frustrating as reading about all these hit-and-run crashes in local media on a day-to-day basis. Anyway, if you haven’t seen the story yet, definitely check it out. There’s a lot of good information there to digest.
As an addendum to the story, we’ve put together a number of graphs showing how hit-and-runs have changed over time. The first of which shows hit-and-run crashes by category in Philadelphia.
As you can see, hit-and-run crashes have remained pretty consistent throughout the years. Given the current circumstances, it’s possible 2015 sees a higher number of hit-and-runs than 2005, which represents the highest total number of hit-and-runs in the past decade.
And here are the percentage of pedestrians who have been involved in Philly hit-and-runs over the past decade:
Lastly, we’ve got a chart showing hit-and-runs throughout the region, by county, and the percentage change.
Notice hit-and-run crashes have dropped nearly 50 percent in Montgomery County, while they’ve dropped just 12 percent in Philadelphia—and may actually go up this year.