(WPRI) — A recent AAA report shows hit-and-run crashes are on the rise in the United States.
According to new research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, there is more than one hit-and-run crash every minute in the U.S.
The study found in 2016, 2,049 people died in hit-and-run crashes, the highest number on record.
Fatal hit-and-run crashes are also on the rise, up 60 percent from just nine years ago.
The study also found that 65 percent of people killed in hit-and-run crashes were pedestrians or bicyclists.
Experts say distracted and impaired driving are part of the problem.
“It’s an eye-opening case study,” said AAA Director of Traffic Safety, Advocacy and Research Jake Nelson. “The data are discouraging, but hopefully it is enough to open our eyes and have us be a little more alert on the road and pay attention for those pedestrians and cyclists.”
Most recently here at home, a 15-year-old Pawtucket girl was hit by a van while walking home from school.
Several weeks later, the driver turned himself in. He faced a judge in court on Wednesday.
According to the AAA study, the states with the highest number of fatal hit-and-run crashes per capita are New Mexico, Louisiana, and Florida.
The states with the lowest rates are New Hampshire, Maine, and Minnesota.
To view the full AAA report, click here.