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Hit-and-run accidents often involve alcohol or drugs

Hit-and-run accidents happen all the time in the United States, and one of the biggest questions that researchers have is simple: Why? Why do people who know they should stay at the scene of the crash, still decide to leave? Why do they risk it even though it's a crime and they are only making the situation worse for themselves once they're caught?

There are numerous reasons. For some, a wreck can just be emotional and overwhelming. They're frightened and unsure how to react, and so they run. You can even look at this as the traditional fight-or-flight syndrome that kicks in when people face stress. It doesn't help them in this situation, but they react instinctively.

For many, though, the issue is drug or alcohol use. If a driver is impaired, he or she knows that the ramifications of the accident are already far bigger than they would be after a sober accident. They do not want to get caught, and so they flee the scene and hope to evade the police. Someone with a criminal record for past drug use may do almost anything to try to avoid getting arrested again.

Of course, all these drivers do when they flee the scene is increase the number of charges they'll face when they do eventually get caught. But, after an accident, they only have a few minutes to react. Many simply make the wrong decision.

If you get involved in an accident and suffer injuries, once the driver does get caught by the police, you may be able to seek financial compensation for your costs. Even if a hit-and-run driver isn't caught, you may have other legal options. Find out more about your rights.

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