MANATEE CO. (WFLA) – A driver struck and killed a bicyclist on U.S. Highway 301 and left the scene Tuesday morning, but it was far from the first in the area this year.
Just in the last few months, 8 On Your Side has reported about hit-and-run crashes from Winter Haven to Holiday and many cities in between.
But an updated report from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles paints a much more detailed image of how careless drivers can be in a hit-and-run crash.
In 2019, Manatee County alone has seen more than 600 hit-and-run accidents.
Hillsborough County has seen more than five times that amount, with 3,339 hit-and-run crashes so far this year.
Pinellas and Polk counties also saw hit-and-run crashes in the thousands.
Throughout the ten counties that make up and surround the Tampa Bay area, there have been 9,912 hit-and-run crashes so far in 2019, according to an updated report from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.
Resulting from the nearly 10,000 hit-and-run crashes in Tampa Bay this year were 2,268 injuries and at least 23 fatalities.
In all of 2018, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles reports that there was almost double that number of hit-and-runs.
Florida as a whole has one of the highest rates of fatal hit-and-run crashes per capita, along with New Mexico and Louisiana, according to a 2018 report from AAA.
“Hit-and-run crashes in the United States are trending in the wrong direction,” said Dr. David Yang, executive director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. “Our analysis shows that hit-and-run crashes are a growing traffic safety challenge and the AAA Foundation would like to work with all stakeholders to help curtail this problem.”