Parked Cars Make Crummy Witnesses

Even in our civilized society, there’s a pretty good chance that a driver who’s going to hit and run is going to do it to a parked car, according to Allstate Insurance Company claims data released Feb. 17. Nationwide, 69 percent of all Allstate’s hit-and-run claims involved a parked vehicle.

Here are the percentages for major cities in Tennessee:

Chattanooga/59

Memphis/59

Knoxville/61

Nashville/67

The Tennessee cities had a lower percentage of hit-and-run claims involving parked vehicles than most of the other cities in the Allstate report. For example, in both Honolulu and Anchorage (something about being one of the last states to join the union?), the percentage of hit-and-run claims involving parked vehicles was 81 percent; in Cape Coral, Fla., 84; in Elk Grove, Calif., 85; Syracuse, 90. Sterling Heights, Mich., topped the chart with a whopping 94 percent—maybe auto industry woes mean more parked cars to hit.

And one more note to Tennessee drivers: Even if three of five hit-and-run claims hereabouts involve drivers who don’t ’fess up to bashing a parked car, Tennessee law requires a driver responsible for an accident with an unattended vehicle to notify the owner with a note. Could this be a new surveillance opportunity for the red light camera folks?

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