TicketSchool > Blog > Texas Defensive Driving > What’s a Hit and Run?
A man photographed his vehicle with accidental damage with a smart phone

A hit and run is a type of car crash where someone will leave the scene or provide false information. They do this for several reasons, such as they do not have car insurance, their license is expired or suspended, or they don’t even have a driver’s license.

For the other person, a hit and run can be quite frustrating. Yet, if they remember what they learned in their defensive driving course online and apply it to the situation, it can be beneficial during this stressful time.

If you are involved in a hit and run, remember to stay calm and do the following:

Step 1: Safely Park

Pull off the road and move to a safe location if possible. If your car is not drivable, carefully exit the vehicle and move to a safe location.

Step 2: Call the Police

You will need to file a police report with your insurance company to claim damages. Additionally, if you got the plate number, vehicle description, or other information about the person who fled, you can provide it to the police.

Step 3: Take Pictures

Make sure to take pictures of the damages to your vehicle. Don’t forget to take pictures of the area where the crash occurred too.

Step 4: See if There Are Any Witnesses

If anyone saw the hit and run and stuck around, talk to them. Write down their contact information and ask them to wait to give a statement to the police. They may even have gotten the license plate number or other details you were not able to do.

If you are a witness to a hit and run, don’t leave the scene until after speaking to the police. Your information could make a huge difference for the victim.

Step 5: Seek Medical Treatment

If you are injured, make sure to seek medical treatment right away. You may not be able to complete the other steps, and that is fine. Your health and well-being are more important.

Step 6: Call Your Insurance Provider

Contact your insurance agent or insurance provider and let them know you were involved in a hit and run. The police should have given you a card with a case number on it to give your insurance company. If you have full coverage insurance, your damages should be covered. However, you may have to pay your deductible first.

You might be able to recover your deductible if the police can track down the other driver. You may also be able to sue the other driver for serious personal injuries.

What if I Wasn’t in My Car When It Was Damaged?

If your car has been damaged in some manner—back end smashed, vandalized, broken mirror, side-swiped doors, etc.—follow the same steps. Call the police and file a report, take pictures of the damage, and so on.

Damage side or door after collision in city
Look around for traffic cameras and security cameras, as they could have recorded the culprit. If you are at a big box retailer or shopping mall, check to see if they have security cameras in the parking lot.

Most of the time, sadly, the culprit does not get caught. However, there is still a chance they could, so you will want to do what you can to help the police catch them by providing as much information as possible.

Hopefully, you are never a victim of a hit and run. Yet, if you are, remember these essential steps to deal with the crash.

To learn more about and enroll in our state-approved online driving safety courses, please feel free to sign up at Ticket School today! You may also contact us at (800) 558-9887 if you have further questions or need assistance.