Hit and Run Accidents in Miami
If you wonder why there are so many hit-and-run accidents in the Miami area, there are a few theories. Drivers who are driving without a valid license, uninsured or impaired, typically want to avoid taking responsibility for an accident.
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Hit and Run Accidents in Miami

According to an article in the Huffington Post, Miami-Dade County ranks the highest in the state when it comes to hit-and-run crashes. In 2012, there were more than 35 hit-and-runs per day, on average, for a total of 12,813 accidents in which drivers fled. In fact, South Florida accounts for a full third of all the hit-and-runs in Florida, which, in 2012, was nearly 70,000 hit-and-run accidents. The human toll of these accidents is staggering: 17,000 people injured and 166 killed. Oddly enough, the state laws actually provide a sort of incentive for an impaired driver to flee the scene, particularly if injury or death occurred.

Fewer Penalties for Impaired Drivers Who Leave the Scene

If a Florida driver sobers up prior to turning themselves in, they will ultimately face less jail time than those convicted of DUI manslaughter. Miami Senator Miguel Diaz de la Portilla introduced a bill which would increase the mandatory sentences for the impaired driver who flees the scene of an accident with fatal injuries. The Senator wants these drivers to spend at least ten years behind bars–significantly more than the four they face if convicted on DUI manslaughter charges. Diaz de la Portilla strongly believes the laws should not be easier on those who leave the scene of an accident, perhaps leaving people to die who might have been saved if medical attention had been received in time.

Just a few of the many Miami hit-and-run accidents, which have occurred within the past week or so include the following:

  • On Monday, March 9th, a Miami man in a sport utility vehicle collided with a red truck at the intersection of Northeast Fifth Street and First Avenue. The SUV driver began running east on Northeast Fifth Street, past a fire station, when he was nabbed by an alert firefighter, Alex Saavedra who tackled the man at Bayside Park. The SUV driver initially told police he left a baby in the SUV, but no baby was found, and it is believed the driver was intoxicated.
  • On the same morning, a Dodge Ram pickup truck hit a bicyclist on S.W. 216th Street, near 169th Avenue just east of Krome Avenue. The bicyclist, an unidentified man in his 40’s who was riding his bicycle to a nearby business, was killed, and the driver of the pickup truck fled the scene. The pickup is a 2010-2015 dark metallic grey Dodge Ram pickup. There is damage to the right front headlight.
  • There has been a break in the case of a 57-year old Dania Beach man who was struck and killed last Thursday by a hit and run driver on Griffin Road at 26th A damaged maroon Ford F-150 pickup was recovered which is believed to be the hit-and-run vehicle.
  • An 18-year old young woman is hooked to a ventilator, fighting for her life at Jackson Memorial Hospital, after being the victim of a hit-and-run accident over the weekend. Dericka Banks was being walked home by her boyfriend. The couple were walking along NW 13th Avenue when Dericka was hit while crossing 54th The car that hit Dericka fled the scene. Banks suffered multiple broken bones, head trauma, and is unable to breathe on her own. The car which hit Dericka may be a champagne colored SUV, with probable front-end damage including possibly a missing bumper.

Two of the above hit-and-run accidents involved pedestrians, one involved a bicyclist and one another driver. Three out of every five fatalities in 2012 were pedestrians struck in a hit-and-run accident, and Miami is the fourth most dangerous city in the nation for pedestrians. Unfortunately, three other Florida cities ranked above Miami–Orlando-Kissimmee (1) Tampa-St. Petersburg (2) and Jacksonville (3).

Factors in the High Number of Miami Hit-and-Run Accidents

If you wonder why there are so many hit-and-run accidents in the Miami area, there are a few theories. Drivers who are driving without a valid license, uninsured or impaired, typically want to avoid taking responsibility for an accident. The second theory lies in poor city planning and design–according to Transportation for America, there are few safe spaces for walkers and bicyclists in Miami. Finally, distracted driving, which has become a factor in almost every automobile accident, has led to an increase in hit-and-run accidents. Distractions such as cell phone use, pets, children, map-reading, fiddling with the radio or GPS and eating can all lead to an accident.


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