The number of hit-and-run accidents involving injury or death is rising across North Carolina, according to AAA Carolinas.
Almost 500 hit-and-run incidents have been reported to North Carolina Highway Patrol this year. Some are fender benders, but others involve injury or death.
Master Trooper Chris Knox has been in law enforcement in Guilford County for 13 years.
“It seems like starting out there would be a hit-and-run here and there. Most would be on the minor side. But it seems as my years go on, the severity of the hit-and-runs -- the volume of the hit-and-runs -- there does seem to be an increase,” said Knox.
Knox says drivers’ impulse to leave the scene is alarming. However, when those drivers are caught, Knox says the impulse tends to stem from money troubles or wanting to avoid other criminal charges.
“If you flee a collision scene, no matter what the injury is, you're looking at a felony. So that's more jail time, more severe penalties,” said Knox.
Knox says the most important thing drivers can do when involved in an accident is to get the other driver’s license plate number as soon as possible.