For almost as long as there have been motor vehicles, hit and run accidents have been a problem. However, new statistics show that these fatal accidents are on the rise all over the United States.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration tracks a lot of accident data, including the total number of deadly hit and run accidents. In 2009, there were 1,274 such crashes. The next year, in 2010, there were 1,393. The year after that, in 2011, there were 1,449 deadly hit and runs.

When crunching the numbers, it becomes clear that fatal hit and run accidents in that span of time jumped by 13.7 percent. While this may be bad enough on its own, you also have to consider that total traffic deaths were going in the other direction. They fell by 4.5 percent, dropping to 32,367 in 2011 after sitting at 33,883 in 2009.

The stats differ from city to city, but it makes sense to use Los Angeles as a test case, seeing as how it is the second largest city in the country. The data found was disturbing, in that almost 50 percent of the crashes in the city were tied to hit and run drivers. Not all of these were fatal, of course, but it still shows just how often drivers will leave the scene.

While Los Angeles is going to have far more overall accidents than Hudson or other cities in Wisconsin, it’s still important to track these trends and know the risks; you must also know what legal options there are if a hit and run leaves you with injuries.

Source: USA Today, “Fatal hit-and-run crashes on rise in U.S.,” Larry Copeland, accessed May. 04, 2015