Viral Hit-and-Run Videos Are Rare, But Fleeing the Scene Is All Too Common

By now you may have already seen this viral video of the world’s most incompetent hit-and-run driver. After colliding with a taxi, the offending motorist performed something like an 11-point turn in an attempt to flee the scene, but traffic congestion on this part of Belmont Avenue, between Southport and Greenview, stalled the getaway. The driver struck four other vehicles in succession, bumper-car style, before speeding away. It’s a wonder there was no further harm to bystanders or public property, though the driver apparently ran into a tree soon afterwards.

DNAinfo reports that police say the driver stole the Nissan SUV and was later apprehended. The incident took place on October 30 at 4:14 p.m.

The driver’s actions, while criminal, are sadly not unusual in a town where lawless, destructive driving is commonplace. Nine traffic cameras recently recorded 233,000 speeding violations in Chicago in just 45 days. Between 2005 and 2011, Chicago drivers killed 374 pedestrians and 41 cyclists.

A screen cap from the video showing one of the many cars the driver hit.

The hit-and-run rate for reported crashes in Chicago in 2011 was 31.6 percent, almost exactly the same as the 31.4 percent rate in 2010. This compares to 11 percent nationally. The rate in Chicago may be even higher, since the data excludes crashes where there was no injury. It also leaves out crashes where the property damage wasn’t greater than $500 prior to 2008 and $1,500 since 2008.

Note: Streetsblog is awaiting 2012 crash data from IDOT.

  • You see a lot of crap on the streets in Chicago. I acknowledge this guy is an exception, because he’d allegedly stolen the car, but I think the high hit-and-run stats here show just how lawless many drivers here are. When you see the police breaking the same laws as everyone else, and a general disregard for the safety of others on the part of many drivers, we know we have a problem.

  • Anonymous

    So tell my why a guy who takes a 4,000 pound hunk of steel and smashes it FIVE TIMES into a crowded street is any different than a guy who fires a gun five times on a crowded street? Shouldn’t he be treated the same way and hauled off to jail?

    Streetsblog is right-on to point out the crazy treatment of people who commit crimes in cars and the imbalanced fines/charges/sentences they receive.