The hit-and-run in fatal pedestrian accidents: victims, circumstances and drivers

Accid Anal Prev. 1995 Oct;27(5):643-9. doi: 10.1016/0001-4575(95)00012-o.


Hit-and-run pedestrian fatalities are classified as to victim characteristics, accident circumstances and driver characteristics. Over 18,000 pedestrian fatalities are reported in the Fatal Accident Recording System for 1989-1991. Twenty percent of the drivers involved left the accident scene. Children and senior citizens are the least likely to be left. Drivers more commonly run in urban areas, outside the South, on weekends and at night. Comparing motorists who left the scene but were later identified with the drivers who remained, drivers aged 66 and older are half as likely as younger drivers to leave the accident scene and male drivers are 60% more likely than female drivers to run. Drivers with previous driving while intoxicated arrests are twice as likely to run as those with no such arrests. Forty-nine percent of hit-and-run motorists involved in pedestrian fatalities are ultimately identified by the police. Other factors constant, drivers are more likely to be identified if the victim was female or a child. Drivers are identified 2.5 times as often when the incident occurred in daylight. Drivers appear to run more often when they are at fault and will be severely punished (e.g. when they are intoxicated) and when it is likely that they can escape detection (e.g. at night).

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Accidents, Traffic / mortality*
  • Accidents, Traffic / prevention & control
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alcohol Drinking / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Alcohol Drinking / mortality
  • Alcohol Drinking / prevention & control
  • Alcoholic Intoxication / mortality
  • Alcoholic Intoxication / prevention & control
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Ethanol / pharmacokinetics
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Trauma / mortality*
  • Multiple Trauma / prevention & control
  • Social Responsibility
  • Walking / injuries*


  • Ethanol