Sometimes people who are involved in a car accident react purely out of panic and flee the scene.

According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, hit and run accidents are on the rise across the U.S. Sadly, more than one hit-and-run accidents occur every minute on American roads. Leaving the scene of an accident, sometimes called “hit and run,” can bring criminal charges with severe penalties.

Pennsylvania hit and run laws

Under Pennsylvania law, drivers involved in an auto accident, regardless of damage, are required to stop and provided the other person with contact and insurance information. If a driver fails to do so, the accident is classified as a hit and run. If a driver hits a parked car and leaves without notice, it is considered a hit and run accident.

Depending on how bad the accident is, a driver may face misdemeanor or felony charges. The following are Pennsylvania’s hit and run laws to be aware of:

  • Penalty for death is a third-degree felony with one to seven years in prison and a minimum fine of $2,500.
  • Penalty for property damage is a third-degree misdemeanor charge with up to one year in prison and a minimum fine of $2,500
  • Penalty for injury is a third-degree felony with a minimum 90-day jail sentence and up to seven years in prison along with a minimum fine of $1,000.

Other penalties of a hit and run accident may include a temporary loss of driving privileges and the potential for an increase in vehicle insurance premiums.

When someone is involved in a car accident – no matter how small – quelling the panic and staying at the scene is in their best interest.