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Why people leave the scene of an accident

Leaving the scene of an accident without permission can result in serious consequences. In fact, it is also called a hit and run in many situations, and even if you live in Maryland and are found to have left the scene of an accident in another state, it could affect your Maryland driver record.

Of course, many people know it is unwise to leave the scene. So, why do some people do it?


The leaving could be due to miscommunication. For example, the drivers look over each other's cars, and everything seems fine. They exchange contact information, and one driver says, "Okay, I will be in touch if I need anything," and the other driver leaves without sharing insurance information.

You have an obligation to stay, though, even if you believe you were not at fault.


Someone might leave the scene of an accident if he or she fears for safety. Say that a female driver is involved in a crash with a male driver in an isolated location. No one seems injured, and for whatever reasons, she feels threatened being alone with him in that far-flung place. In such cases, physical safety and protective instincts might trump legal safety.

The fear could also stem from not wanting to be caught. You may be afraid of conviction and a prison sentence and so flee the scene. Or, you could feel anxiety if you are driving on a suspended license and do not want it revoked permanently.


It could be that confusion causes someone to leave the scene. For example, someone who has been drinking alcohol might not realize or remember that staying is necessary. The same goes for someone who has issues with dementia. 

The reality is that if you leave the scene of an accident, that can make you look guilty of causing the crash, whether you actually did or not. The consequences could be far more severe than if you had stayed. If you have left the scene of an accident for whatever reason, an attorney may be able to help.

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